Karen's voice is such a force of nature, with such depth, clarity and strength it is easy to see why she was the standby for all three of Broadway's Norma Desmond's in Sunset Boulevard. Karen also starred as Tanya in the original Broadway cast of Mamma Mia, receiving a Drama Desk award nomination and originated one of the three female roles in the Off Broadway Kander and Ebb review, And The World Goes Round, receiving an Outer Critic's Circle Award for that part.
Karen's Not So Simply Broadway recording features some amazing arrangements that are jazzy and let the band members shine on several solo moments as well as compliment Karen's voice, the first track combines "Follow Me" from Camelot and "Something's Coming" from West Side Story. It is a beautiful arrangement and Karen really makes the coupling of these two songs her own. I love her rendition of "I've Grown Accustomed to His Face" from My Fair Lady and her take on Finian's Rainbow's " If This Isn't Love" is so heartfelt and it soars to the rafters.
"Nothing Really Happened" from Is There Life After High School? is a story song, and Mason knows the importance of focusing on the lyrics to tell the story. Her attention to the lyrics also isn't missed on "This Nearly Was Mine" from South Pacific. Delivered in a dreamy way, with an arrangement that builds perfectly to compliment Mason's building delivery of the song. These serious songs are followed by the somewhat comical "Hey Look Me Over" from Wildcat. Mason has some fun with this one, wrapping her voice around the lyric rhymes but ending with a big flourish. The cd ends with "Never, Never Land" from Peter Pan which has yet another beautiful arrangement to accompany Mason. I love how she doesn't deliver this song in the typical way it's been done before, but slows it down to make it more of a message for the young and young at heart, ending with a couple of lyrics from her opening song "Something's Coming" to tie the whole album together.
All in all, a highly recommended cd. I'll review some of Karen's other CDs in future posts, as she has several out there.
Amazon link for the cd - Not So Simply Broadway
Amazon link for MP3's of the cd - Not So Simply Broadway
Amazon MP3 Clip previews-
Karen performing "This Nearly Was Mine" -