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BWW Album Review: Jason Robert Brown's 'Coming from Inside the House (A Virtual Subculture Concert)' Offers Relevance, Reassurance, and Resilience


Recorded for a one-night video streaming event in April 2020.

BWW Album Review: Jason Robert Brown's 'Coming from Inside the House (A Virtual Subculture Concert)' Offers Relevance, Reassurance, and Resilience

Craft Recordings and Concord Theatricals recently released the official album for Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown's Spring 2020 virtual SubCulture concert, featuring Ariana Grande and Shoshana Bean. "Coming From Inside The House (A Virtual SubCulture Concert)" was recorded for a one-night video streaming event on April 27, 2020 and was originally presented as a benefit for the SubCulture staff and musicians from the Jason Robert Brown Artist-in-Residence concerts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brown plays piano and keyboards, with a band that includes Todd Reynolds, Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf, Gary Sieger, Randy Landau, and Jamie Eblen. The album was recorded, edited, and mixed by Jeffrey Lesser, and produced by Lesser and Brow and mastered by Oscar Zambrano. Marc Kaplan of SubCulture served as executive producer.

The voices on this album feel like a wonderful homecoming, as Brown brings together superstars Grande and Bean to perform highlights from his phenomenal career, including The Last Five Years. The first track, "Sanctuary" features Georgia Stitt, Molly Cate Brown, and Susannah Brown, and is a powerful call for finding the avenue that makes us feel safe. In descriptive detail, it illustrates the emotions and struggles many are facing and exhausting every attempt to be seen or feel heard. As the lyrics reference, "When the world is unwinding, where do we have to turn?" With everything changing so quickly and stable ground being hard to come by, music is a constant that we can always turn to and know that we are not alone.

Shoshana Bean lends her dynamic voice to the "The Hardest Hill" and doesn't miss a beat with her flawless vocal range. When expressing the most common complexities around one of the most sensitive subjects - falling and staying in love - she speaks the truth and conveys every reaction that a human being has during the process. This ballad is so relatable and such a raw account of one of the greatest mysteries of life - Ms. Bean, you sum it up perfectly!

"Still Hurting" from The Last Five Years featuring the one and only, Ariana Grande, is absolutely stunning. It is hauntingly beautiful in the way that it carefully captures Cathy's heartbreak stemming from the end of her marriage and thinking about how her partner, Jamie, has moved on and seems to be doing just fine. Ms. Grande perfectly underscores that numbness you feel when your heart is shattered, and it seems like the other person took no responsibility. It's like an injury that no one else can see, yet your heart is bleeding and the timeline for recovery is unclear. This is one song that will continue to be a prized classic.

While there is some deep content, it's not all tears! Brown also includes some fun, high-energy nods to the greatest city in the world with "I Love Betsy" from Honeymoon in Vegas and a special bonus, "Nothing's Bigger Than Kong." These tunes are pure delight and prompt you to tap your toes and envision yourself in a kick line. Why not take part in this larger-than-life experience, especially now, in a time when we are all aching for Broadway? Luckily, Brown gifts us with some fond memories and sophisticated music in the meantime.

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