Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New CD: Megan Hilty

Megan Hilty, who's starred on Broadway as Glinda in Wicked and now appears weekly as Ivy on "Smash," has just released her first solo CD, "It Happens All the Time." •• Instead of what I expected, a collection of the usual show tunes and standards, Megan has collected 10 of her favorite songs, songs that speak to her and that she hopes will speak to us. And for the most part, she nails it. These are heartache songs, for the most part, and you can hear her heartbreak coming through each performance. •• By far the standout of the album is "Wise Up." Aimee Mann's version was used in the film Magnolia some years ago, and here Megan infuses it with a wistfulness and wisdom that I found very emotional. It sounds like she's singing to herself as much as to us, like she wants to save us some pain by sharing her own. Some of that's the song, but most of it is her performance. Same story with "The Heart of the Matter," to which Megan brings a real fierceness and sorrow. •• All in all, while this may not be a totally successful first CD, it has plenty of real emotion and a mountain of talent. I can't wait to see what Megan Hilty brings to her next CD.

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