For those of you more familiar with the Broadway scene and musical theater than mainstream radio, the name Shoshana Bean might ring a bell. She was featured in the original cast of 2002’s Hairspray, was the second-in-line after Idina Menzel for the starring role in Wicked, and has performed for and with many of Broadway’s elite powerhouses. And yet, listening to her new solo album, O’Farrell Street, you wouldn’t immediately assume Bean had a musical theater background.
Back in 2008, the artist released a solo album entitled Superhero, which featured her virtuoso vocals in front of predominantly pop/R&B constructions that could have more or less answered anyone’s inquiries into her musical background. However, her new album is a blend of ’60s jazz and soul that separates her from those notions and provides something so entirely different that you’d think she was a startlingly talented up-and-comer.
I mean, this thing is good. The productions provide a delectably soulful and era-appropriate sound that fully supports Shoshana Bean’s vocals, which easily evoke ’60s greats like Etta James or Aretha Franklin. There’s nothing “neo” about it; it simply is an album in the vein of soul standards, but with Shoshana impressively at the helm, there’s such a level of intrigue that listening to one track just won’t do.
You can enjoy a few tracks from the new album, O’Farrell Street, for yourself down below, and for those of you who want to get even closer to that old-school sound, Shoshana is having a CD release celebration over at The Sayers Club in Los Angeles on Feb. 20th.
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