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Music Review: Promises Promises The New Broadway Cast Recording

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Every year, some of the best shows which Broadway has to offer are considered for the Tony Award. This is equivalent to an Oscar or an Emmy, just a name change for theatre performances. Promises Promises The New Broadway Cast Recording is not a new musical concept, but one with familiar themes of relationships between men and women. Starring Sean Hayes of Will and Grace fame and Kristin Chenoweth, the cast pops out tunes which underlie hopes and dreams for a better life.

The "Overture" sets the tone with notes of serious oomph. The horns help to complement the bubbly background with a blend of frolicking and fun.

"Half As Big As Life" is the first time Sean Hayes sings a solo. While he gets the point across of a wistful young man with dreams to go far in life, it's hard to hear him. I get the distinct impression singing is not a strong point for Hayes, which makes his casting a bit curious.

On "She Likes Basketball", Hayes does better. The delight in his voice as he discovers that the sought after girl shares one of his enjoyments can be heard on ever note.

Kristin Chenoweth solos for the first time with "I say a Little Prayer". A Broadway veteran, Chenoweth lets her voice rise from a gentle whisper to a soaring overhead wind. No wonder she is the lead role. The other women in the background add a ringing endorsement of just how good this song is.

"Where Can You Take a Girl" gives the other men in the cast a chance to sing without the addition of Hayes. Ken Land, who plays Jesse Vanderhof is a solid baritone. The others, however, sound just a tad flat. Perhaps they are supposed to since they are in character.

"Wanting Things", sung by Tony Goldwyn, is another decent singing voice. The struggle between being satisfied and never having enough can be clearly heard in Goldwyn's voice.

"A House is Not a Home" is Chenoweth toned down a bit. The powerhouse vocals don't boom, which makes sense for this number. Plaintive wishing gives this tune a pretty poigancy.

Hayes reprises this song with a slightly different effect. While not the entire song, enough can be heard to remind listeners of this sweet tune.

"Promises Promises", the song the show is named after, just might be the best Hayes has to offer. The strength is maintained throughout each line as well as each note.

Considering Hayes and Chenoweth are the most recognizable names in the musical, it might explain why they are assigned the most songs. This CD is not a bad one, but it's not the greatest, either.

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