Album Review: Keala Settle – Chapter One

Building on the success of The Greatest Showman, Keala Settle releases her debut EP Chapter One

“When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long”

One of the breakout stars of runaway success film The Greatest Showman was rightly Keala Settle. As bearded lady Lettie Lutz, her rendition of the anthemic ‘This Is Me’ provided a real standout moment and it was no surprise to see the song be nominated for an Academy Award and to win a Golden Globe.

But to Broadway nerds, she’s no newbie. A Tony nominee (for Hands on a Hardbody), she shone in the original cast of Waitress and so you can certainly say she has paid her dues. And now Settle is taking the opportunity to release music with the EP Chapter One, which features four self-penned original songs and a cover for good measure.

And it is all rather good fun. The music ranges from the cheery pop of ‘Til I Get To You’ with its wonderfully confident strut of a chorus to the souful balladry of ‘Neither One of Us’, from the slinky pace of ‘Can’t Run Away’ which cannily draws from Alicia Keys’ well of influence to the old-school bluesy lament of ‘Tennessee Whiskey’. 

The unifying factor is the fierce weapon that is Settle’s voice, oozing with confidence and brimming with soul, she gives the impression that she could sing anything. And here she does. Personally, I’d love her next record to have just a little more thematic cohesiveness but as an introduction to her talent, Chapter One is quite the beginning.

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