Album Review: A Concept Album For A New Show MY HEART SAYS GO Yields Good Things Musically

Fathers & Sons… What Ya Gonna Do?

By: May. 13, 2023
Video: Josh Groban Is Full of Joy Over His Tony Nomination

Video: Josh Groban Is Full of Joy Over His Tony NominationHeigh Ho, dear lovely rainbow tribe, welcome back to Bobby's CD sandbox where we offer our broken-down breakdowns of new music releases. So, strap in and get ready, as Bobby goes on the record ABOUT the record.

Today's album entry in the BobbyFiles comes from the lovely children at Broadway Records and is a studio cast recording of Jorge Rivera-Herrans' new musical MY HEART SAYS GO. Rivera-Herrans has provided the music and the lyrics, Matt Hawkins is credited with writing the album, and Geoffrey Ko is musical director, and, along with Christopher Sepulveda, they all act as producers for MHSG the album. The cast list for this recording features Hamilton's Javier Muñoz and Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller, Rubén J. Carbajal, Erica Ito, Aurelia Williams, Jared Goldsmith, John Cardoza, Mili Diaz, Cailen Fu, and Eric Peters. That's the "who," and now the "what" ... The story follows a young man named Indigo (Carbajal), a med student well on the road to being a doctor who, in defiance of his father (Muñoz), decides to follow his heart and leave school to become a musician, like his late mother. This is the premise, the theme, the message, and the ultimate concept of this concept album - "Follow your heart" - a tried and true message if there ever were one.

With the first three numbers, PROLOGUE, WHAT DOES MY HEART SAY, and FATHER vs. SON, the listener is set up for Indigo's journey. We are taken from his disillusionment with medical school and his dream to make music to his decision to chuck it all and go for it, to the painful chore of informing his not-very-understanding (but hardworking and loving) father of his intentions to "throw his life away." In PROLOGUE Rubén J. Carbajal, as Indigo, is given Rap mixed with melodic singing in his exceptionally pleasing voice. The machine gun tempo of the spoken word lyrics is astonishing. The poetry/rhymes are so tight, so fast, that it's dizzying, but it's made clear in this opener that we have met a young doctor in training, realizing that this is not his path, and he must find his own, for his heart says go (see what Bobby did there?). After grappling with himself and with his stubborn father (Javier Muñoz), the two share a moment of redemption. The three songs together are the unit that delivers the story to the audience and, once done, we know exactly where we are. The trouble is, we also know exactly where we are going, and how we are going to get there. The music and lyrics are quite good and the performances are all first-rate, but by the time Indigo and his father confess to each other that they regret things they said in the song HEAT OF THE MOMENT, the listener can pretty much read all the writing on their wall, since the story of musician son defying blue-collar dad is an old one. A stand out on the album is FIND YOUR VOICE, sung by the FAB Aurelia Williams who, quite frankly, sings the crap out of this one. She is superb at interpolating her own vocal decorations while keeping the integrity of the song, and the number itself is bouncy and fun. It seems people are gathering around Williams, bringing their dreams to her character, who sings as though she is a sort of mother figure, admonishing all to make a real difference "no matter what you do," and that you all must find your voice in order to be an original.

Down through the rest of the album, we follow Indigo as he experiences bumps in the road to his dream - bumps from his father who goes back and forth in his support of his son, bumps from the business he is trying to break into in LA, bumps within his own self-esteem... In the gorgeous GOOD NIGHT INDIGO, he remembers his mother's song to him as a boy, and sings this paean to her final hour of life, and their goodbye, and what it meant to him. Another beautiful piece is SMILE AWAY, where Jessie Meuller (in that inimitable voice) sings this gentle sweet song in a duet with Erica Ito. The music of guitar and keys sways back and forth in ¾ time because hardships fall away if you smile and stay in ¾ time. The final standout on the album is sans music. The next to last cut, FREESTAYLE ON A HEARTBEAT, is just that, a freestyle poetry slam that Carbajal's Indigo delivers with stunning emotion and verbal dexterity.

To sum up, my lambs, in this initial concept album, Jorge Rivera-Herrans' score to MY HEART SAYS GO delivers much of the story elements for this once and future show, and while there are many of the all-too-familiar mundanities like fear of dying without ever having truly lived, and how there's always a price to be paid when the artist goes in search of the art inside, his music is spirited and layered, both musically and emotionally. It is definitely worth a listen, especially for my little actor lambs out there, since Bobby gives it his (((((AUDITION CALLOUT)))) and suggests picking it up and keeping an eye out for the show's development AND its sheet music.

Though we do feel the creators should dig a little deeper to make their plot a little fresher for their show, it is a worthy concept that gets...

3 ½ Out Of 5 Rainbows

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You Can See And Hear Everything About MY HEART SAYS GO On The Webbysite: HERE

Video: Josh Groban Is Full of Joy Over His Tony Nomination


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