The Soul Of Broadway (Music Thoughts: Broadway My Way, Heather Headley)

BroadwayMyWay_AlbumArt‘Broadway My Way.’ Heather Headley is the album I have been waiting for, and I knew it would be good as soon as the music started playing.  I have always loved Headley’s voice (she does the best duet of ‘the Prayer’ with Andrea Bocceli, in my opinion) and her Broadway credits have been impressive. And, I just like her way with a song. She was the best thing in the London production of ‘The Bodyguard.’ and her versions of Whitney’s songs give the originals a run for their money. Check out, for example, her soul-crushing version of Brian McKnight’s ‘One Last try,’ for example.

And I love her renditions of these Broadway songs, giving them a soulful depth that in a lot of way completely transform the songs. My favorite? Quite possibly her ‘Look To The Rainbow,’ which is a total reimagining (style-wise) of the song from Finian’s Rainbow. The song never sounded more modern and more personal. A close second is her version of ‘My Home’ from Matilda, a score I normally would pass by. The rest of the album succeeds, like her jazzy take on ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonlight,’ where she peppers that song with jazz flourishes that makes the song less sounding like a Disney product. While her version of ‘For Good’ is still great, I did not really appreciate the rock riffs there, and must she recycle ‘Home,’ which was from her last album? All in all, all these songs are already on my daily listen playlist, and I wish next time she would go deeper with songs from Broadway’s Golden age, instead of the more pop=flavored modern songs. ( I mean ‘True Colors’ from Priscilla is not really a show tune)  Still, I think this is my favorite theater-adjacent album of the year, and will cherish it.

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