Jason Robert Brown releases his latest album of original songs June 29. How We React and How We Recover features 12 tunes by the Tony-winning songwriter, including “Hope.” The opening track on the recording from Ghostlight Records was written in response to the 2016 Presidential election. Take a listen to the full song below.
According to Brown, “Hope” sets the tone for the full album. “It’s about having hope when you have no reason to be hopeful, trying to capture the positive energy of life in bad times. I still have a tough time performing it; it’s a very direct expression of a very difficult emotional moment,” Brown said in a statement.
The album also features “Fifty Years Long,” commissioned by a couple Brown didn’t know to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. There’s also the brassy anthem “Invisible,” inspired by a young girl who was ill and living at the Ronald McDonald house who wanted to be seen as powerful in spite of her condition, and “Melinda,” a samba digging into the grit of 1970s New York City.
Of the 12 songs, nine were composed during Brown’s ongoing residency at downtown’s Subculture.
The album release also coincides with the Encores! Off-Center production of Brown’s Songs for a New World, an abstract musical marking Brown’s earliest work, which opened at New York City Center June 27.
Brown is a three-time Tony winner, having won Best Score for Parade in 1999 and Best Orchestrations and Best Score for The Bridges of Madison County in 2014. His other works include Urban Cowboy, The Last Five Years, 13, Honeymoon in Vegas, as well as the upcoming musical The Connector, currently in development at Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre.