How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The musical creations of lyricist/composer Adryan Russ have found their way into the scores and productions of musical revues, off Broadway shows, cabaret and the movies. Among her credits for the latter is "Save the Earth," which she penned for the English language version of the Japanese cult film Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster. Presenting her material on this compilation of her songs, vignettes of life's ups and downs - - written by herself or with others - - are an experienced collection of accomplished veterans from cabaret and the musical stage. There's not a bad performance in the lot, a strong indication that Russ' lyrics in fact do tell stories because that's the brand of song cabaret singers warm to. The lyrics are printed in the liner notes, so you can read (or sing) the tales first hand. One of the fun tracks is "Them" performed by Barbara Deutsch which starts off: "When my skin begins to sag. And wrinkles start to curl. That's when I encounter some gorgeous girl". Proposed solutions to this dilemma are offered in the rest of the tune. The bulk of musical support is provided by programmer Grant Geissman who is an expert on the application of electronic devices as substitutes for real instruments. But it's done tastefully. He also plays guitar. Pianists Shelly Markham and Jeff Rizzo are on hand as well. This album will be attractive to lovers of the cabaret style and there are a lot of those out there.
Track Listing: Everyone Has a Story; Great Things; Out of Time; Matters of the Heart; Them; I Slip into This Place; Friends; I Hate to See You Go; The Better Love Is the Worse It Is When It's Over; What He Can Do with Words; Hopscotch; I Don't say Anything; Number; I Want to Live This Love; The Gift
Personnel: Adryan Russ - Composer/Vocals; Joan Ryna, Juliana Ashley Hansen, Jason Graae, Tami Tappan, Barbara Deutsch, Sharon McNight, Michelle Nicastro, Kirby Tepper, Susanne Blakeslee, Susan Egan, David Burnham, Lisa Richard, Karen Benjamin, Cindy Benson, Guy Haines - Vocals; Geissman - Orchestra, Drums & Percussion Programming, Guitar, Keyboards; Shelly Markham, Jeff Rizzo - Piano