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Still I Can't Be Still

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Album Review

Idina Menzel may be a Broadway star, but her solo album Still I Can't Be Still is not the typical collection of old show tunes usually delivered by those who trod the boards on the Great White Way. Of course, as a star of Rent, the rock musical about life on the Lower East Side dealing with issues like AIDS and drug abuse, Menzel isn't exactly coming at her solo career like another Ethel Merman. Instead, she co-writes all of her original songs with bassist Milton Davis (that may help explain why the bass is so loud), and they are set to synth rock arrangements. Menzel sounds like she grew up listening to Prince and Madonna, and lately has been wearing out Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill. Such influences not only bring out her R&B-based contemporary rock sound, but also her forthright lyrical approach. She steps out right at the start in "Minuet," a song in which a woman discusses with her lover whether they should move in together. "Will I piss you off ‘cause I don't cook," she worries, but then reflects, "The sex lasts for hours/You want me more the less I shower." Too much information? If so, the listener has been warned that Menzel isn't afraid to, as she puts it in the final song, wear her "Heart on My Sleeve," though, actually, that's not the half of it. In "All of the Above," she suggests to her lover that they visit a sex accessories store and promises, "I can be...your dominatrix (in your parent's bed)." In "Straw into Gold," she worries about losing her appeal as she ages, noting, "My womb is a rush-hour taxi ride." Not all of her lyrics are so sexually uninhibited, but they are usually emotionally uninhibited, and Menzel sings them in a powerful voice. In the wake of Morissette, this may be the female empowerment of the future; in any case, Menzel makes clear that she won't be content only singing other people's show tunes.

Customer Reviews

Idina Does It For The First Time

This is the first album released by Idina, before she became popular amongst the swarming hoardes of thirteen year old girls. In it, rather than empty lyrics and obviously crowdpleasing melodies, you get a peek inside the soul of a unique performer, and a unique woman. "Think Too Much" is one of my favorites, though it has no real beat and is more ryhthmic speaking than song. "Minuet" is also very good, and never gets old when you listen over and over again. She poured herself into this album, and it definetly shows. There is pain, such as that in "Larissa's Lagoon" and the joy of freedom and being yourself ("Planet Z"). The songs in this album have the feel of journal entries put to music, which is a very nice effect. By listening to "All of the Above," the listener is immersed in an almost taboo world: the sexual life of Idina at the time. Very good and very artsy. Not for pop lovers. Makes you think.

Perfection in Musical Form

BEST album i've ever heard. Idina has both talent and a soul, that shes not afraid of pouring out. Minuet is an amazing single, and it only compliments the album. Idina's music is definitley not for the emo/punk/goth teen or the uber-preppster, but still a perfect rock album.

Her Heart On Her Sleeve

WOW! I have been a huge Idina fan since I saw her in Wicked and she is insanely incredible. This CD is incredible and shows you all the aspects of her amazing voice. I know it is her first release and her other album,"Here", is also fantastic. Her slower songs like "Still I Can't Be Still" and "Heart On My Sleeve" make you feel like crying, while the faster ones like "Fool Outta Me" have you singing along. Idina puts emotion and sincerety into all these songs, something not often found in artists today.This is an all around best buy because, while Idina puts her heart on her sleeve, she also captures yours.

Biography

Born: May 30, 1971 in New York, NY [Queens]

Genre: Pop

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

Best known for her Tony-nominated performance in the Broadway smash Rent, singer/actress Idina Menzel made her solo debut in 1998 with the pop-soul effort Still I Can't Be Still. She joined the cast for Wicked in 2003 and appeared on the recording that same year, while 2004 saw her releasing the album Here. The following year, Menzel appeared on the soundtrack to the television show Desperate Housewives, and a duet with Ray Charles (which the pair had recorded back in 1998) found its way onto the...
Full Bio