Fans of Broadway may know O’Hara’s work in the oughts, with stints taken in Jekyll & Hyde, Dracula The Musical, and South Pacific. “Always” is only O’Hara’s second album, the first after eir 2008 debut, “Wonder in the World”. “Always” starts off with “What More Do I Need?”, a track that showcases the warmth and love that O’Hara brings to each of the disc’s compositions. After this “how do you do”, O’Hara quickly gets to the meat and potatoes of the disc.
“Something Wonderful” is short and sweet in this aspect, with O’Hara’s inimitable voice staying in the front and center. This trend is one that winds its way through the subsequent tracks on “Always”, but should not be seen as anything but innocent. In fact, O’Hara’s voice is more than happy to take a backseat during tracks like “Finishing the Hat” and “The Party’s Over”. In these tracks, O’Hara’s vocals become much more of a musical instrument.
While still important in terms of providing some narration to these tracks, eir voice does a perfect job in linking together with the other instrumental elements. “I Could Have Danced All Night” is the final track on “Always”, and is what O’Hara needs to properly close up the disc. Closing up in a shade over two minutes, “Could Have Danced” nevertheless will implant itself onto the mind of anyone listening in. While O’Hara’s name may be well-known in the Broadway scene, I have no doubt in my mind that eir work on “Always” should be what makes eir name commonplace everywhere else. Check the disc out at your earliest convenience; you will not be disappointed.
Top Tracks: What More Do I Need?, This Nearly Was Mine
Kelli O’Hara – Always (CD) / 2011 Ghostlight / 13 Tracks / http://www.kelliohara.com / http://www.sh-k-boom.com