BWW Album Review: PLAYS WITH MUSIC Is a Beautiful Intersection of Emotion, Storytelling, and Life Lessons
Two-time Tony Award-winner, Brian Stokes Mitchell, recently released his third solo album, PLAYS WITH MUSIC, that features a stunning orchestra, including his own arrangements and orchestrations. With a dynamic voice and elegant sound, Mitchell not only provides an enjoyable listening experience, but tells a vivid story with every song. Listeners will go on an emotional journey through longing, love, insecurity, human shortcomings, and more over the course of the album.
Getting straight to the point with the first tune, "There's No Business Like Show Business," Mitchell pours his professionalism, passion, and love for the business into this classic song, that is reflective of his incredible career, spanning decades. Taking a step back, it sounds like Mitchell can enjoy all that he has accomplished and play with the lyrics in a way that is unique to his experience. You can certainly tell that he is having fun!
Other songs, such as "By Myself," showcase the depth of the most intense human emotions, such as sadness, trepidation, and isolation that can come with the unknown. It brings the listener to the verge of tears, all while following an upbeat melody in the background that reminds you to keep on going. By the end of the song, you can feel an undertone of hope and can see that bridge to better days ahead and true happiness. It's really magical how Mitchell can make you feel this wide range of emotions in such a moving way that ultimately hints at a more positive ending once we learn to create our own world and muster up the strength to carry on.
The humorous, "I Won't Send Roses" is set against a soft, jazzy sound and describes a lover who can't provide a partner with the romance they desire. He will certainly forget birthdays and will spend much time being preoccupied with his own needs. The honesty and bluntness bring out the imperfections and flaws, but in a more lighthearted way. Love shouldn't be so serious, right?
The album also features a fantastic new song, called "A Wizard Every Day" and ends with "What A Wonderful World" and takes you back to a dream-like state. A beautiful way to wrap up the experience on a high note. Each song is presented so strikingly and truly paints a picture. Mitchell calls upon all of the senses and brings you right into his world - - a place where so many of us would like to spend more time.