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I don't like the current crop of Boy Bands. One Direction, The Wanted, JLS - they all leave me cold. I wasn't much of a fan of the bands of my era (from The Osmonds to Take That), although I have come to like them in my 'old age', So, the last thing I expected to enjoy was an EP of songs from How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, featuring the current lead on Broadway, Nick Jonas from another 'bubble gum pop' band, The Jonas Brothers.
But enjoy it I did.
It's not a show I have much knowledge of. I saw a bad (VERY) amateur production in the early '90s, and I think it scarred me for life. I've never actually listened to the original Broadway cast for that reason, or the Matthew Broderick recording of a few years ago. The current Broadway production also spurned a cast recording, starring Daniel "Potter" Radcliffe in the lead role of J Pierrepoint Finch, a young window cleaner who begins a meteoric rise from the mailroom, to the Vice President of Advertising at the World Wide Wicket Company.
Jonas, as I've said, is part of the boy band The Jonas Brothers, but has also had a foot on Broadway several times before, in Les Miserables, Beauty and The Beast and Annie Get Your Gun, all coming before he became famous with the JBs. Judging by this EP by Broadway Records, he should pop by more often. The EP is too short (5 tracks) - oh how I would have loved to have heard more. What is there is pure heaven. This guy can sing - REALLY sing - and his performances better those by Radcliffe on the full cast recording of this production. I'm assuming that the same orchestra tracks were used, but these also are top notch, and show off Besterman's orchestrations to the max. Jonas isn't alone on here vocally, we also get the chance to hear Rob Bartlett in the role of Mr Twimble and Rose Hemingway as Rosemary Pilkington, although both of these also appear on the aforementioned full cast recording, but never the less. shine here just as brightly.
Jonas is totally at home with the style, melodies and lyrics of the piece, and is certainly one to watch in future Broadway productions. It would be great to hear him do a Broadway album, or songs from the Great American Songbook, as he clearly has the voice, and the intelligence, to give them the treatments they deserve.
The CD design and production is top notch, and puts many full recordings to shame. It's clear a lot of thought has gone into this release and it's design, and Broadway Records should be pleased with the final product. I know I was.
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