Review: Grace McLean Celebrates Her MY LOVELY ENEMY Album Release at Joe's Pub

The electrifying singer wowed the crowd at Joe's Pub on May 6th with a live performance of songs from her latest album.

By: May. 23, 2024
Review: Grace McLean Celebrates Her MY LOVELY ENEMY Album Release at Joe's Pub
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Grace McLean (Suffs, Bad Cinderella, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812) is proving to be a force both on and off Broadway. On May 10th, 2024, she released her first album, My Lovely Enemy, but first, she celebrated the album’s upcoming release with a concert at Joe’s Pub on May 6th. In what was likely her only night off from starring as President Woodrow Wilson in Shaina Taub’s Suffs on Broadway, she shared some songs from the album as well as a couple exclusive songs she only performs live. 

McLean came on stage at Joe’s Pub dressed in a “rocker chic” outfit, and instantly gained the audience’s attention and admiration. With only a loop pedal and her album’s drummer, Hiroyuki Matsuura, or Matsu, and bassist/producer Justin Goldner, McLean shared the first song of the evening: “Ocean Vapor,” the eighth song on My Lovely Enemy. I have always thought her voice was unlike anyone else, and now I can see her musicianship is the same. Her lyrics perfectly fit the production (by Goldner with mixing from Jack DeBoe) of each song. Her storytelling is incredibly strong, highlighting her talents in songwriting.

McLean shared that the title track, “My Lovely Enemy,” started as a song for her 2019 musical, In The Green, which premiered off-Broadway at LCT3’s Claire Tow Theater. You can hear the more “musical theater” structure in storytelling, but the way McLean reworked this song for the album fits right in. It’s also the first song on the album, which sets the tone for what’s to come: electronic pop songs with the storytelling magic from musical theater.

In one of my favorite moments of the night, McLean shared two songs she wrote using diary entries from when she was 10 and 28 years old. 

Listening to the album now, there are certain aspects of the production that are missing when the songs were performed live, but McLean said in an earlier interview with BroadwayWorld that her and her team of musicians “honed” most of the album’s songs from performing them live. The songs are now expanded from their live form with the intricate and intriguing production we hear on the album. In case it needed to be said, it’s incredibly impressive. 

If you ever have an opportunity to see Grace McLean performing her music live, do it. Her songwriting is unique in the best way, and her personable, energetic nature makes her a joy to watch. She’s not the only Broadway star with a career in recorded music – there's also Ben Platt, Reneé Rapp, Leslie Odom Jr., Shoshana Bean, etc. – but her music is unlike anyone else’s, and definitely worth a listen – or a couple.


Find more about Grace McLean on her website at GraceMcLean.com 

Click here to listen to “My Lovely Enemy” 

Find more upcoming shows at Joe's Pub on their website.




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