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Album Review: An Original Cast Recording Brings A Diamond From Broadway Into Your Home In A BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE NEIL DIAMOND MUSICAL

Album Review: An Original Cast Recording Brings A Diamond From Broadway Into Your Home In A BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE NEIL DIAMOND MUSICAL

Neil Diamond’s Music Is Timeless And Now Is The Time.

Album Review: An Original Cast Recording Brings A Diamond From Broadway Into Your Home In A BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE NEIL DIAMOND MUSICAL Heigh Ho, dear lovely rainbow tribe, Bobby Patrick, your rainbow reviewer is back in CD-Land to offer another broken-down breakdown of a new music release. So, strap in and get ready, as Bobby goes on the record ABOUT the record.

This week's album entry in the BobbyFiles, A BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE Neil Diamond MUSICAL is one of those rare "Bio-Musical" cast recordings that is actually enjoyable. Once upon a time, my lambs, on the Broadway (since the year one, really) creating an entire production around several separate, (and hopefully equal) songs in a music maker's catalogue used to be called a Musical Revue. This would be a show where casts would take one song after another, perhaps with a suggested relationship between the songs, some connective tissue in theme, or in a spoken introduction about the numbers and their creator/s, as with the iconic AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'. There would be much singing and dancing and maybe a few talkie bits that got us from one number to the next... OR none of that, as in the case of SMOKEY JOE's CAFE, where all that was needed was the music, the lights, and some truly dynamic performers. Creating a new book (the play portion of a musical) with a completely new story to go with pre-existing songs is what we in the biz term a Jukebox Musical. And while that is not specifically "new," since 42nd Street could be considered a Proto-Juke Box Musical, the proliferation of this type of revue, while very popular and profitable at the outset of this onslaught (MAMA MIA, ROCK OF AGES), what we are seeing more and more of in the past few years is the Catalogue Musical. This brand of storytelling takes an established Catalogue of songs, applies a biographical book about the composer (or non-composing singer, as in THE CHER SHOW), and creates a piece of theatre that tells the story of a music legend (BEAUTIFUL: THE Carole King MUSICAL, JERSEY BOYS), and is a money-making juggernaut that has almost completely taken over our theatre stages, right here in our very own 21st Century. Since JERSEY BOYS' blockbuster opening and decade-long run beginning in 2005, one cannot swing an acoustic guitar without hitting the life story and previously recorded music library of one pop icon or another. There have literally been dozens of them on and off The Broadway, with the full spectrum of success rates ranging from 0-100%.

This brings us back to A BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE Neil Diamond MUSICAL... well, not the show itself, since Little Bobby has not seen it, but to the cast album featuring the show's stars Will Swenson (Diamond-Then), Mark Jacoby (Diamond-Now), Robyn Hurder & Jessie Fisher as two of Neil's three wives, and Linda Powell as an enigmatically named character - Doctor. The show follows the standard look-back premise of a memory play. We start in the now with an elder Diamond seeking therapeutic help from a Doctor who talk therapy's her patient through his life, and more importantly, his music. Now, despite what we are sure you have detected as Bobby's mild disdain for this style of musical, we did say that this album was enjoyable, and indeed it is. Along with the in-depth exploration of Diamond's legendary library, the cast recording adeptly lays out the story that takes place on the stage so well that one can comprehend what is going on and follow the tale from top to bottom. It's a simple premise: Neil's born in Brooklyn to a supportive Jewish father and an overly hysterical Jewish Mother, he writes some music, has some troubles getting started, meets a girl and gets married, writes some more music, becomes a hit, has more troubles, gets divorced, marries another girl, has all the success in the world, becomes a major star and influence in his profession, and needs therapy. Simple, right? All of this plays out with more clarity and more aplomb on A BEAUTIFUL NOISE's cast album than, really, any of its predecessors, and this is to the credit of all the creatives. The Album is produced by the LEGENDARY Grammy Award® winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bob Gaudio, who is one of this show's producers and an original Four Seasons (read: Jersey Boys) member-performer-producer-composer (Hyphen-Infinitum), so he knows a few things. Gaudio has laid out, with great care, the talkie bits, combined with the exceptionally produced music, so that the show's story comes alive in the album's abbreviate format.

And speaking of that music, the sound quality here is superb, with nothing out of balance. At no time does the listener's ear say, "What was that... What did he say? What did she sing?" - none of that. It is all crystal clear, danceable, heartfelt, warm, and sweeping all at once - A BEAUTIFUL NOISE is just a totally righteous recording. It is rare, in Bobby's opinion, for a play of this nature to translate from stage to an OBCR so nicely, and our rainbow hat is off to the show and album producers. The voices are all wonderful, with Swenson leading the way. No stranger to rock singing is our Will, but here he adapts his trumpety tenor to the lower gravel of Diamond's famous pipes, evoking him in the role in ways that gave us the gay gasps. All those playing opposite Swenson are matches, musically and acting-wise, and Jacoby presents a fine version of Diamond in later years, though his upper register is clearer and more precise than Mr. D's.

In all, a catalogue musical is a catalogue musical ... where the book is a latticework to hang mostly unrelated songs on in a mostly inorganic way and that's what A BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE Neil Diamond MUSICAL is, without a doubt. But, for the experience of this album, listeners who may or may not be fans of the man, can grasp the story and hear his wonderful songs all in one sitting, and for that, we give this cast recording...

3 Out Of 5 Rainbows.

Since The Show's Opening Will Happen On December 4, You Can Be Ahead Of The Curve By Getting This Album: HERE

Or Streaming It On Your Spotifies: HERE

Read All About The Show On Its Webbysite: HERE


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