Broadway fans, rejoice! Everyone’s favorite glee club director Matthew Morrison (or you might know him as Will Schuester from the hit television show Glee) is back with a brand new album, Where It All Began. This album is a tribute to Morrison’s Broadway roots. Many don’t know that he actually is a seasoned Broadway performer, originating the role of Link Larkin in the musical smash Hairspray and was Tony-nominated for his role in The Light in the Piazza.
Glee and Broadway fans alike will be able to revel in the happy and melodic Broadway covers that Morrison casually croons, such as the album’s opening number, “Singin’ In The Rain” from the classic movie-musical Singin’ In The Rain. Morrison’s smooth, velvety voice fits nicely with the song (and the genre!)
In a similar fashion, “Come Rain Or Come Shine/Basin Street Blues” is a great match for Morrison. “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” originally written for the musical St. Louis Woman, fits well with “Basin Street Blues,” made famous by Louis Armstrong.
Though Morrison’s crooning is absolutely beautiful, the album picks up with a classic musical tune “Ease on Down the Road” from The Wiz. This particular cover features none other than Smokey Robinson. Morrison and Robinson compliment each other and the song quite nicely.
Morrison’s beautiful rendition of “Younger Than Springtime” serves as a tribute to his role in the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific. Playing Lieutenant Cable, it was his last stage role before his move to the world of Glee.
“It Don’t Mean A Thing,” originally by Duke Ellington and a classic swing hit, is a perfect jazzy tune for Morrison’s voice, complimented by an array of saxophone solos and trumpets.
Next up: “The Lady Is A Tramp,” from the Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms. Morrison sounds like he belongs in the 30’s and 40’s, the era of these tunes with his voice that is reminiscent of the greats such as Sinatra and Kelly.
“As Long As She Needs Me” serves a male tribute to the Oliver! tune “As Long As He Needs Me.” Morrison absolutely does it justice and may cause some to shed a tear or two. Following this is the classic “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady, a fun and bouncy song that makes anyone want to get up on that Broadway stage and sing along with Morrison.
“Hey There” from The Pajama Game is another classic ballad that Morrison slays, proving his long history with Broadway. He follows it with “Luck Be A Lady,” from Guys And Dolls, yet another classic worthy of Morrison’s vocal stylings.
The album ends on two wonderful high notes. First up is “Send in the Clowns” from Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. The song is a complete tear-jerker and you can practically hear Morrison’s emotion behind his voice. It would be an understatement to say that I hit the replay button once or twice.
The last song is a rousing medley from the hit musical and movie West Side Story featuring such hits as “Jet Song” and “America,” which Morrison’s voice does wonders for.
Matthew Morrison proves that he is absolutely no stranger to Broadway on this album full of wonderfully chosen covers. He has certainly earned his place not only on the Broadway stage but on the screens of so many who worship Glee. Morrison has shown himself to be more than just a glee club director in Ohio, but a seasoned Broadway performer.