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BWW CD Review: Jessica Vosk WILD AND FREE Is As Refreshing And Exciting As A Carnival Ride


BWW CD Review: Jessica Vosk WILD AND FREE Is As Refreshing And Exciting As A Carnival Ride

It takes no more than one minute for Jessica Vosk to get your attention when you turn on her album WILD AND FREE. Starting with a song that grabs you and makes you stop what you're doing and listen, Vosk allows the strings to draw you into the music and on the fifth count, with eight words, she's got you. Is this a rock singer or a Broadway belter? What is in store for you in the next 14 songs? You won't immediately know, but you will close your eyes and roll your head as though you have been swept up in the euphoria of a moment you will remember for a long time... and you will remember. Jessica Vosk was not fooling around when she chose "A Million Dreams" to start Wild and Free. It takes gumption to pick a Pasek and Paul song everyone knows and everyone wants to sing, to be your opening number, but that's Jessica Vosk, all over the place: gumption. It's a choice and a treatment that tells you that Fearless Vosk is steadfast, strong, and sticking around.

In the liner notes Jason Robert Brown has a few things to say about what it is like working with Jessica Vosk, who made her Broadway debut in The Bridges of Madison County some seven short years ago. His praise of the lady is warranted, but it is the quality of her work as a musical interpreter that tells the listener why, in those seven years, Vosk has become one of the most ardently sought-out performers, by producers and audiences alike. The beauty of Vosk's talent and a primary focal point of Wild and Free is her versatility, not just in her ability, but in her tastes. While Wild and Free is replete with the Broadway tunes upon which her career was built, Vosk provides listeners with the rock and roll that she loves, a sound that translates into the show music, as evidenced when "What Baking Can Do" becomes a song one might easily hear on their Pandora station for Pink. A clear admiration for music throughout the years gives Ms. Vosk a playground rather like a Tardis (or a Tornado) transporting the listener to the '60s, the '70s, the '90s with recognizable songs by The Beatles, Billy Joel, Melanie, Prince and more. Whether Vosk opts to pay homage to the original artist by staying within the walls of their rendition or step into her own spotlight with inventive new arrangements, is where the witchcraft and wonder take place, especially in a Streisand torch song and a Beatles-Sondheim mashup. No mere CD of covers is Wild and Free, indeed Vosk has created an album of performances so individual that, now and then, one forgets they have heard some of these songs before.

With this debut album, Jessica Vosk further cements her place in the annals of show business, not only with her considerable talent, but with proof of devotion, validation from fans who crowdfunded the effort in only 72 hours - Ms. Vosk is one of the new divas, conquering the stages of Broadway, the concert halls, the cabarets, and now the recording booth. This need surprise no one, since her musical theater chops are always on display, whenever and wherever she is singing, but this Broadway aficionado admits to being a little surprised that his favorite tracks on the CD came from the rock world. Vosk's treatment of the songs "Love Has No Pride" and "Nothing Compares 2 U" is breathtakingly moving, so deep is the dive that the lady takes into the emotions, both in the lyrics and the melodic line, and her performance of "Woke The F*ck Up" is so personal, so raw, so exciting (thanks, in part, to additional vocals by Marissa Rosen and Marty Thomas) that it is easy to see why she planned for it to be the climactic moment of the musical journey. Naturally, after a storytelling climax, the audience must be treated to a moment of rest, of peace, of afterglow, and Jessica Vosk & co. deliver, perfectly, with the final song of the CD. No, no spoilers here. You should buy the album and take the trip with Jessica from start to finish and ride the glorious, emotional, sometimes almost frenetic musical rollercoaster. When it's finished you will want to ride the ride again and again.

Wild and Free is a pleasure to own, to experience, and while Ms. Vosk's name is out front on the pretty in pink album cover, and her lovely face graces most of the green pages of the booklet (pink goes good with green), her entire team deserves credit, from Musical Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell to package designer Robbie Rozelle, so below is the credits page from the CD booklet, featuring the names of many of the people responsible for the album.

Wild and Free is a 2018 release on the Broadway Records label and is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and at the websites for Broadway Records and Jessica Vosk.

BWW CD Review: Jessica Vosk WILD AND FREE Is As Refreshing And Exciting As A Carnival Ride

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