“If you weren’t if you hadn’t if you didn’t and you weren’t and you hadn’t and you didn’t but you have and you were and you went and you did, and so, goodbye!”
I’m continuing to work my way through the pile of musical theatre CDs that people have loaned to me, but one to which my eye was quickly drawn was Kristin Chenoweth’s debut album Let Yourself Go. I previously reviewed her Christmas album which I absolutely love and despite what some people have said about her, I cannot wait for the day when I finally see her live: hopefully in a concert or show here in London but I’m also willing to travel…
It is a proper old-school variety album, selecting songs from a range of musicals mostly from the first half of the twentieth century, but with And shining above it all in Chenoweth’s gorgeous soprano, equally able to deliver the comic verbosity of songs like ‘If You Hadn’t But You Did’ (which I would love to hear Julie Atherton sing) and the vocal flexibility of ‘The Girl in 14G’ with the aching longing of ballads like ‘How Long Has This Been Going On’, the elegant restraint of ‘I’ll Tell The Man On The Street’ and the simple vocalise of ‘On A Turquoise Cloud’.
Her choice of material is also quite interesting too: yes there’s a couple of obvious picks, the smooth phrasing of ‘My Funny Valentine’ is just gorgeous though, but there’s also some delving into some less explored works like the Gershwins’ ‘Hangin’ Around With You’ from Strike Up The Band, a swinging comic duet that trips merrily along with Jason Alexander’s guest vocals is a frothy delight.
I knew very few of the songs on here actually, but it really didn’t matter as Chenoweth’s effervescent personality shines through on all of them and with Rob Fisher and the Coffee Club Orchestra providing sterling accompaniment, she really shows off her versatility and strength in performing a wide range of interesting material. So this one is definitely a keeper, a great introduction to both a stunning performer in Kristin Chenoweth and to a selection of new ‘old’ songs, for me at least.