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Go Back Home

Audra McDonald

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Album Review

A classically trained soprano with a voice that can seemingly do anything, Audra McDonald was the most important new voice to hit musical theater in the 1990s, and while her work on stage, in films, and on television is at the center of her career, she has also found time to record an album here or there, and this one, her fifth solo studio release, and her first in some seven years, pretty much follows the template of the earlier ones, with a couple of songs from Stephen Sondheim ("The Glamorous Life" from A Little Night Music in the case here) and Rodgers & Hammerstein ("Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music), but most importantly, she continues to feature new and younger composers on her albums, and on Go Back Home, these newer pieces are the most striking, perhaps because they are the least familiar. The opener and title track, "Go Back Home" from The Scottsboro Boys, written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, is a case in point. McDonald gives the song the exact amount of yearning and nuance, and she does the same to "First You Dream," another piece from Kander and Ebb, this one from Steel Pier. "Migratory V," from Saturn Returns, written by Adam Guettel, is another ethereal gem here. She also does versions of songs drawn from literary sources, two of which, "Some Days," drawn from a piece of writing by James Baldwin and set to music by Steve Marzullo, and "Tavern," based on a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay and given music by Will Reynolds, are included here. McDonald's voice astounds and seduces throughout Go Back Home, which is what we've come to expect from this great singer and interpreter. Hopefully we won't have to wait another seven years for her next solo outing.

Customer Reviews

I've been waiting 7 years...

and it was well worth it. Since 2006's "Build a Bridge," we've all been anxiously awaiting the next studio album from the reigning queen of the American Musical Theatre. In her fifth studio release, we see Ms. McDonald return fully to her roots in the works of the geniuses of contemporary theatre songwriting, with a few forays into the classics. She is equally at home in both repertories. This album immediately stands out as a beautifully curated collection of modern gems and freshly presented standards, touchingly sung (and acted) by Ms. McDonald. She truly is an American treasure.

It just doesn't get any better

A perfect song selection, perfectly sung by one of the great talents of our time. Buy this album. Worship this great talent.

Audra's Best

Though it is early to say, I think this may be Audra's best album yet. Some Days, The Glamorous Life, and Make Someone Happy are perfect!

Biography

Born: July 3, 1970 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Classically trained soprano Audra McDonald was the most celebrated new singer/actress on Broadway in the 1990s. She was raised in Fresno, California, and graduated from the Juilliard School of Music with a Bachelor's degree in music in 1993. Even before her graduation, she had begun to work professionally in the musical theater, taking a role in the national tour of the musical The Secret Garden in 1992. Fresh out of school, she was cast in a Broadway revival of the musical Carousel (March 24, 1994)....
Full Bio

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