BWW Album Review: Cast Album of THE NEW YORKERS Is a Witty Love Letter to the Greatest City in the World
Ghostlight Records recently recorded a new cast album of Cole Porter's 1930 musical The New Yorkers, based on the 2017 production from New York City Center Encores! Inspired by legendary cartoonist, Peter Arno's work for The New Yorker, this upbeat and dazzling soundtrack captures the hustling energy of New York, from the second you press play. The listener then has the opportunity to bask in the hilarity, romance, wit, and admiration used to express affection for a city celebrated by its unique cast of characters.
Set in the Prohibition Era, a world inhibited by flappers, gangsters, speakeasies, and trouble, this cast album brings the personalities who are larger than life to the forefront. Your feet will instantly start tapping to the beat of "Go Into Your Dance" as you forget about your troubles and turn to the arts for an escape, as dancing transports you into an alternative universe of joy and pleasure. The combination of zany lyrics and beautiful orchestrations certainly lift your spirits and gives your imagination time to play.
Keeping with the theme of the era, songs like "Say It With Gin" tickle your funny bone and celebrate a party atmosphere that life should sometimes possess. A contrast for the seriousness and tension of the era, this tune reminds to let your hair down and approach situations with humor and silliness.
One of the original songs that has continued to be recorded by top artists, "Love For Sale" is an honest tell-all, beautifully delivered by French singer, Cyrille Aimée. Containing all of the raw emotion and with an undertone that makes you feel like you are listening to the music in a smoky jazz club, it's no wonder this song continues to be covered by performers from different generations.
To stay on the theme of "love", Scarlett Strallen's gorgeous voice takes you to new heights with songs, such as "Night and Day." You can envision elegant ballroom dancing in the background and feel like you are in a Cindrella-like trance, as you dream of your love and long for their presence - with everything in the world seeming just right.
The album wraps up with favorites such as "Let's Fly Away" and "I Happen to Like New York" that remind even the most jaded New Yorker just how magical this city can be, while acknowledging that it can be a love-hate relationship. The lyrics present a delightful love letter to all parts of this experience, including even the sometimes-unpleasant smells. At its core, it acknowledges and appreciates the people who make up the city and all of their hard work and efforts that go into getting through the day. It's a harmless, fun, and enjoyable peek into the past with sophisticated orchestrations and voices that uncover those warm feelings - even on the coldest New York day.