Friday, September 13, 2013

LAURA BENANTI: In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention - A CD Review

I had the pleasure of seeing and meeting Laura when I saw NINE on Broadway and besides being a gorgeous and very talented girl she was also very nice and even took a picture with me. It’s that nice quality that makes her solo album “In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention” an enjoyable listening.

More than the beautifully sung songs, what comes through is her terrific sense of humor, the cozy way she embraces the audience and us listeners, plus the fact that she doesn’t take herself very seriously; just look at the funny photos that illustrate the booklet and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

As a very conservative or old fashioned musical lover, I would prefer that the album had more traditional theater songs and less pop numbers, but the end result is a positive one. Things start with a personal rendition of “I’m Old Fashioned”, followed by “My Time of Day” and “On the Street Where I Lived” (wouldn’t she make a terrific Eliza Doolitle?). Then it’s time for a few songs that don’t speak much to me, including “New Mexico” written by herself, although she sings them with all her heart. All those songs have in common the fact that they sound kind of sad.

“I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore” is an interesting return to my kind of songs, showing that Laura should recorded a Loewe & Lerner album. This is my favorite track of the album. “Mr. Tanner” follows and then it’s time for NINE’s “Unusual Way”, both this songs take us back to a sad mood, but things end in a funny note with “Model Behavior” that she sung in WOMEN ON THE NERVE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.

The “sad” songs I mentioned sometimes don’t seem to fit with Laura’s good humor and funny lines, but she sings them with her heart and I felt that she loves those songs. But she’s at her best with the Loewe & Lerner songs and the comic numbers like her “The Ukulele Song”. I believe this is her first solo album and I sincerely hope it’s the first of many to follow. 

Rate: 6 (from 1 to 10)

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