Album Reviews: Here for You: Ballads for Broadway Impact / My Lifelong Love / Infinite Joy: The Songs of William Finn

This trio of album reviews covers Here for You: Ballads for Broadway Impact, My Lifelong Love and Infinite Joy: The Songs of William Finn

“People are swell but I’d rather be sailing”

Released in 2013 in support of Broadway Impact, an organisation of theatre artists and fans mobilised in support of marriage equality, Here for You: Ballads for Broadway Impact is a powerful collection of songs from Jonathan Reid Gealt. It is no secret that I love a ballad and having the likes of Kelli O’Hara, Adrienne Warren and Jeremy Jordan crooning and belting like this is just heaven. Jordan’s elegiac ‘Here For You’ with its gentle guitar is superb, as is the passion of Warren on ‘Home Away From Home’ but the standout track for me is O’Hara’s powerfully moving ‘Breathe’.

Having loved Georgia Stitt’s first album This Ordinary Thursday, I was looking forward to delving into her second entitled My Lifelong Love. But it didn’t quite hit the spot for me, its focus on songs about love perhaps narrowing its appeal (bitter and alone, moi?) but I did just find myself not engaging anywhere near as deeply as I had before.

Infinite Love: The Songs of William Finn also missed the mark for me though it is partly my fault – when I know something is made up of unfinished works and songs cut from other shows, you know that you’re not always going to get the good stuff. And despite Liz Callaway, Carolee Carmello and Norm Lewis on good form, this isn’t an album that engaged me like the best of Finn’s work can do.

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