Jessica Vosk, who is currently starring in Wicked on Broadway as Elphaba, recently released her album "Wild And Free" which mixes both pop and musical theater songs. I fell in love with the album as I listened, and have put my thoughts here.
1. "A Million Dreams" - This song is from the movie The Greatest Showman, and I was sure that I was going to love it the second it started. I was right. Vosk turns the song into a solo, and makes it higher to suit her voice better. What results is a beautiful rendition of the song, that retains the emotion and hope of the original.
2. "The Entertainer/Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" - This one is a blend of Billy Joel and Elton John. Despite being starkly different in tempo and style, Vosk manages to blend them flawlessly for a beautiful song.
3. "What Baking Can Do" - This song is from Waitress, and it fits Vosk's voice really well. With the instrumental and vocal choices, it is different from the original, but still lovely to listen to. In the context of her album, it doesn't need to fit with many other songs (like it needs to in the show), and she makes it a standout number.
4. "Brand New Key" - This song was originally sung by Katharine McPhee (who is coincidentally in Waitress right now). It's light and relatively upbeat, and suits Vosk's voice nicely.
5. "Help/Being Alive" - By slowing down "Help" by the Beatles, Vosk has perfectly matched it to "Being Alive" from Company. It's a surprising match, but one that works wonderfully.
6. "The Music That Makes Me Dance" - This gem of a song is from Funny Girl, which has yet to be revived on Broadway. When it is however, Vosk would be the perfect candidate for Fanny. She seems to float effortlessly through the song, yet still singing with emotion and heart.
7. "Nobody's Side" - This song is from Chess, and Vosk does it justice and more. Her voice is very well suited for the song, and the emotion she sings with continues to blow me away. This is one of the songs I would love to hear her sing live, or in a future revival of Chess!
8. "Chandelier" - In her rendition of Sia's song, Vosk slows it down and seems to lower it slightly at the beginning, making it more of a ballad. This is a surprising choice, but a good one, allowing the listener to take more time with the lyrics and giving the song more emotion.
9. "Nothing Compares 2 U" - This Prince song, which has a pop rock feel to it (and has been sung by many, many artists) is another great song for Vosk. As is the case with the other songs, she continues to eject emotion into her voice and gives powerful vocals that are unforgettable.
10. "Love Has No Pride" - Vosk sings this slow and soft ballad beautifully. While it is so far the simplest of all the songs on the album, it feels like a lullaby and and is beautifully arranged.
11. "Hold On" - This song from The Secret Garden (another show that needs a revival) is absolutely beautiful. I already loved it in the context of the show, and I love it even more after hearing Vosk's rendition of it. She sings it beautifully, and pushes the meaning behind the words into the listener's head with her powerful voice.
12. "Masterpiece" - Different from all the other songs on the album, Vosk takes Jessie J's song and absolutely makes it her own. It's more of a pop song than the others and it works wonderfully.
13. "Woke The Fuck Up" - Vosk (along with Marissa Rosen and Marty Thomas), create a lovely rendition of this Jon Bellion song, complete with some of the best string instrumentalists I've heard in the background.
14. "It All Fades Away" - Starting out a capella, Vosk brings a magical quality to this song from The Bridges of Madison County. Originally sung by Steven Pasquale, I was impressed to hear how well the song suited Vosk's voice and by how beautifully she sings it.
This album is not one to miss. Jessica Vosk has an immense amount of talent, and her debut album shows this in every possible way. You can find the album on iTunes and Spotify, and you can see her at the Gershwin Theatre in Wicked.