Tom Andersen

The Journey

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Modern-day troubadour Tom Andersen's second album presents a mixed play list of standards and tunes by such contemporary composers as Julie Gold, Frank Wildhorn, and Nan Knighton side by side with Andersen originals. The Journey won the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) award as the best album for 1999 and Andersen is a multiple winner of the MAC award for best singer. This singer has all the tools needed for a successful cabaret performer. Above all, he is a storyteller, the bread and butter of the cabaret style. He sings with a level of emotion pitched to the substance of the story he is telling. Most of the songs here call for a soft, tender, and sometimes romantic setting, which Andersen deftly provides. Tunes such as "Two Chairs" and "The Journey" call for pathos, while "People Will Say We're in Love" is romantic, done with a touch of the whimsical. And, of course, abiding by the first commandment of cabaret, everything is done with intense sincerity. One exception to the serious is a lilting, bouncing, get-the-shoulders-rolling rendition of "Two Chairs" which, along with "Words We Say," is a welcome break from the more ardent stuff. Most cuts are done with simplicity with just the participation of Andersen and either Ian Herman or Tom DiPasqua on piano or keyboards. There is a rhythm section listed in the liner notes, but their efforts are barely discernible. Some cuts have strings and backup vocals. But pretentiousness and over-arranging are avoided on these cuts in keeping with the spare tone of the session. The Journey is cabaret of the first order and is recommended.

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