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BWW Album Review: Nick Cordero Proves He Is 'One Of The Great Ones' with LIVE YOUR LIFE - LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW

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The posthumously released album is one of Broadway Records best yet!

BWW Album Review: Nick Cordero Proves He Is 'One Of The Great Ones' with LIVE YOUR LIFE - LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW

The fact that Nick Cordero isn't here to celebrate the Broadway Records release of Nick Cordero: LIVE YOUR LIFE - LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW is beyond being unfair; it's an injustice. The record, phenomenally mastered and produced by Michael J Moritz Jr., is absolutely breathtaking. Cordero's sincerity, heart, and remarkable talent radiates across every second of the recording, and the clarity in the audio ensures that this record, which is now part of his legacy, perfectly encapsulates just how vibrant and full of life Cordero was.

Nick Cordero: LIVE YOUR LIFE - LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW was recorded on April 11, 2019. This album was the second performance of Cordero's first solo show, and it was meant to be a point of reference that would allow Cordero and Moritz Jr. to tweak the show and prepare it for a world tour. Unfortunately, Cordero lost his months-long battle with COVID-19 on July 5, 2020. This album will never fill the void that Cordero left, and it will never replace the splendor that would have been a world tour of this material. However, because of Mortiz Jr.'s integrity and passion to expertly produce the record, it perfectly preserves a moment in time that can be truly enjoyed, start to finish, for years to come.

The energy on this album is high from the get go. The album starts with a cheer as the band comes to life with the opening chords of "All Night Long" (Lionel Richie), and across the following hour and eleven minutes, the listener is treated to some of the most joyful performances to ever take the stage at Feinstein's/54 Below. Sonically, we're seated at the center table in the front row, and it truly feels like Cordero and guests sing each and every song directly to us. And, even more impressively, the usual din of ambient restaurant noise that pervades these Live at Feinstein's/54 Below albums is almost nonexistent on this record. They appear occasionally, but, with Mortiz Jr.'s finesse, large portions of this album sound as if they were recorded in a studio and had applause and cheers layered in at appropriate moments to give the album its live feel.

I've reviewed many of these Broadway Records Live at Feinstein's/54 Below releases across the years, and this one is, in my opinion, is the best one the company has released yet. There isn't a single dull moment or wasted second on the album. Standout performances include a gripping iteration of "Politik" (Chris Martin / Guy Berryman / Jonny Buckland / Will Champion), a heartfelt "One Of The Great Ones" (Alan Menken / Glenn Slater), and a stirring "The Mother" (Brandi Carlile). Then there are the moments that reduced me to a sobbing mess: the evocative "What A Wonderful World" (Bob Thiele / George David Weiss) and the supremely poignant "The Men That Drive Me Places" (Benjamin Rector). Balancing those out are moments of sumptuous vocal beauty, like his duet with Kathryn Gallagher on "If I Ain't Got You" (Alicia Augello-Cook), and moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity, like his rendition of "You Matter To Me" (Sara Bareilles) with Drew Gehling and a hysterical cameo from Zach Braff. For an encore, we are treated to a live performance of his original song "Live Your Life," which is a true delight.

All proceeds from Broadway Records' Nick Cordero: LIVE YOUR LIFE - LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW will go to benefit Cordero's wife, Amanda Kloots, and their young son, Elvis. As of Thursday, September 17, 2020 the album can be purchased from Broadway Records' web-store and elsewhere music is sold.


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