As the television show “Glee” continues to gain popularity in households around the country, Sony Masterworks has released an album that the Broadway-obsessed character Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) would love to get her hands on: a new collection of music by Broadway actress and pop singer Linda Eder “interpreting” 12 Frank Wildhorn compositions. Eder has released more than a dozen albums since her self-titled debut in 1991 (not counting show soundtracks) and though this is the first time that Eder and Wildhorn have worked together in six years, they’ve worked together extensively in the past and have a musical connection that makes this album special.

It’s interesting to note that the first words Eder sings on the new album are “Once, I was young…” (from the song “Not Gonna Fall This Time”). Whether she meant it this way or not, it’s a clever acknowledgment to her mature vocals and deeper dramatic interpretations formed over years of life experience. It’s been more than a few years since Eder’s Broadway hey-day, and her circuit of “Rosie O’Donnell” and “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” and though she hasn’t lost her stunning pipes she’s certainly not as well known to the general public now as she was in the late ’90s.

This collection of a dozen tracks is sure to excite Eder and Wildhorn fans alike, but though there’s a lot of musical variation in the type of songs chosen, the production work tends to bring them all towards a more consistent tone, which makes the album as a whole a bit less memorable. Next to explosive and exciting tracks like the eccentric “The Mad Hatter”(from the upcoming musical Wonderland) and the deeply emotional  “What’s Never Been Done Before,” the rest of the album feels a little subdued, even with Eder’s impressive vocal stylings. Matched nicely alongside Wildhorn’s compositions, and lyrics from many well-known lyricists, there’s plenty to enjoy here, it just didn’t leave me blown away. But maybe that’s not the point. As an accomplished vocalist teaming up with an even more accomplished composer and a plethora of lyricist, perhaps Eder is here to remind us what well-sung showtunes are meant to sound like. Whatever the case, it’s an enjoyable album, geared especially towards those already keen on Eder’s vocal work.

Zach’s Rating: B
Perfect For: All the Rachel Berrys out there
Stay Away if: You’re looking for a straight pop album

To purchase Now, visit Amazon

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