I adore John Lloyd Young. I loved him as Frankie Valli in Broadway’s Jersey Boys and apparently, so did a hell of a lot of other people. In fact, Mr. Young is the only American performer to ever win a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World award for a Broadway debut. He received amazing press, including one of the most exciting New York Times reviews ever written for an actor making a Broadway debut. He was even named Person of the Week by ABC World News Tonight, and being chosen for prestigious “Best of ” lists by Entertainment Weekly, Reader’s Digest and The New York Times..
Talent, ladies and gentleman, is what really really makes me go weak in the knees. I can barely stand with this guy! 🙂
Imagine my delight when, one late night as I was perusing my iTunes, that I come across an album with a handsome guy on the cover and realized it was John Lloyd Young! Finally!!!!! The long-awaited solo album is here, called My Turn, available to download! And download I did. What did I think of it?? Read on.
There are seven songs on the cd. Only seven. That makes me sad. Seriously, I could listen to this guy’s voice call day. I wish there were more, but the songs that are presented are very good. I’d love to one day ask how he came to make these selections. They’re not too eclectic, but they’re all certainly different.
Standouts Among the Crowd:
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me: Sung in a lower register than anything found on the Jersey Boys soundtrack (but don’t expect an Old Man River or anything…geez, not that low!) John really soars with this song. I get chills when he belts out to “never never never let me go!” or sighs “kiss me” or growls “make me tell you I’m in love with you.” Ooooh, such passion, such fire, such amazing orchestral arrangement! Such phrasing. Easily my favorite track of the whole album.
Since I Fell For You: Okay, for those who know me, you know I am a HUGE Barbra Streisand fan. I adore her. I especially adore her version of Since I Fell For You, which appeared on her Barbra Joan Streisand album Talk about fire works! Talk about sweeping low notes (like buttah) and unwavering, unrelenting high notes! The song is an Olympic gymnastics routine, people!
So I listened to John’s version with a bit of worry. Could he??? Would he??? Should he???? Yes. Yes he could and would and should. While the fireworks are kept to a minimum here, this is a slow burn of a song. This is a mellow, settle-into-your-bar stool-and-cry little number. I particularly love this growl he gets in his voice right at the beginning. He’s diggin’ deep with this song, scraping out his heart and mine. Love it!
Only You: It’s fun. It’s swingy. Silky smooth and rich, it’s the Three Musketeers bar of the album. Or uh, something like that. Delicious! And, guess what? You get a bit of that famous falsetto about halfway through the song. It’s just a glimpse, a thrilling tease, but John uses it to fun effect here. It works! He kind of has this Elvis thing going on too when he goes into his low notes. I like it!
Lonely Girl: Okay, here’s the song I’ve been waiting for! The music arrangement, the first yearning bars….yes, this is a Lonely Girl I can totally root for. John sings the entire song in falsetto and, I mean, I really can’t compare it to anything. As mentioned above, the guy has won practically every award there is to win for this falsetto. This falsetto needs its own FB page. This falsetto is busting out all over but never once does is screech or scream or curdle. John exhibits amazing breath control and tone throughout the three minute song. When it ended, I hit repeat.
Suffice to say, this is a great album, and for the low price of $5.99, worth every penny. I can’t wait to see what John does next, and I can’t wait for him to release another album – preferably with a lot more songs on it!