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Wild and Free


Artist: Jessica Vosk
Label: Broadway Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 10 August 2018

Broadway Records release Jessica Vosk's new album Wild and Free. In a meteoritic rise from swing to Broadway’s newest leading lady, Vosk has never been one to rest on her laurels. Recorded between headlining the national tour and joining the Broadway company of Wicked as Elphaba, Jessica's new release is an eclectic mix of musical theatre and pop, drawn from her legendary solo shows and new favourites, including songs by Jason Robert Brown, Sara Bareilles, Sia, Pasek and Paul, Prince and more...

Wow! Just Wow! Jessica Vosk's Wild and Free is an album that has to be heard to be believed.

In the booklet introduction Jason Robot Brown states: "Jessica opens her mouth to sing, and the energy of the whole room changes. The air vibrates differently, the molecules rearrange themselves, and even in broad daylight, it is as though a spotlight has pointed itself directly at Jessica... Pick any track on this album, but for the sake of my argument, listen to the songs that are most closely associated with another singer. When you listen to 'The Music That Makes Me Dance', you hear something that is fiercely original not because of some crazy arranging trick but because Jessica is only capable of being fiercely original. She does not stand in the shadow of the singers who first brought 'Brand New Key' and 'Chandelier' or 'Love Has No Pride' to life; she brings them to a new life, infusing them with her own all-encompassing musicality".

I took that with a huge pinch of salt. He would say that wouldn't he? But after listening to this album possibly more times than Vosk's most dedicated stalker... I have to admit that Brown is spot on. I couldn't get enough of this release. To the point that I'm even further behind with my other reviews.

Vosk takes each and every song on this album and owns it. Forget the original, even if it's "your" song, Vosk blows it out of the water. This is not only due to her incredible vocal range, but also the superb arrangements by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Cameron Moncur, which approach each track from a new angle; dismantling, reworking and then reassembling each song piece by piece.

Some will probably think that 'Brand New Key' is an oddly reworked version of The Wurzels's 1976 hit 'The Combine Harvester'. But those of a certain age will remember that 'Brand New Key' was a 1971 hit for Melanie Safka. Brendan Grace released his 'The Combine Harvester' parody in 1975, with the Wurzels's version taking it to the number one spot in the UK charts in 1976. I still think it's the only song on the album that doesn't really fit well, and is certainly not one to showcase anyone's vocal talents.

There is so much to discover here, but I think that 'A Million Dreams', 'Help / Being Alive'; 'Chandelier'; 'Woke the F*ck Up' (which includes a brief segment of The Cranberries's 'Zombie'); and 'It All Fades Away' are this releases highlights.

Not only are the choice of songs interesting, but the play list is perfectly ordered to make the album flow from one track to the next: Starting with a bang and ending the listening wanting more. Wild and Free contains 14 songs (51 min, 22 sec) and is produced by Michael Croiter and Robbie Rozelle and co-produced by Jessica Vosk.

Track listing:

01 - A Million Dreams
02 - The Entertainer / Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
03 - What Baking Can Do
04 - Brand New Key
05 - Help / Being Alive
06 - The Music That Makes Me Dance
07 - Nobody's Side
08 - Chandelier
09 - Nothing Compares 2 U
10 - Love Has No Pride
11 - Hold On
12 - Masterpiece
13 - Woke the Fuck Up [Explicit]
14 - It All Fades Away


Darren Rea

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