In a Class Above the Rest: The Essential Laurie Beechman On Disc

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14 Dec 2013

Cover art

"No One Is Alone" (1996 solo album)

Laurie Beechman's final solo album is a less consistent affair than her debut, mostly due to some cheesy synth-heavy orchestrations that were very 1990s. There are still some knockout performances, though — even on the more easy listening-style tracks, nothing can get in the way of Beechman's immense artistry. After a whimsical and peppy, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed opening with "These Are The Good Times" (from Alan Menken and Tom Eyen's unproduced Kicks: The Showgirl Musical), Beechman scores on a series of "Songs Of Hope And Inspiration From Broadway" (as the album is subtitled), including "Someday," "Climb Every Mountain," "I Am Changing" and "On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)." My go-tos are an impassioned duet with her sister on Jacques Brel's "If We Only Have Love" and an absolutely electrifying duet with Sam Harris on a Leonard Bernstein medley (“Make Our Garden Grow" and "One Hand, One Heart") where it's hard to keep track of which magnificent voice is trilling which ridiculous note as the arrangement builds to its mind-blowing conclusion.

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