Hugh Maynard's "Something Inside So Strong" || CD Review

First of all, I feel that I ought to say that I actually didn't buy this CD. I fully intended to, but then I happened to win it in a giveaway Hugh did on his Twitter page. I actually found out I'd won when I logged onto London Heathrow's wifi right after arriving in the UK for this semester; what a good omen, right? In any case, a huge thank you to Hugh for giving me this CD! (However, this review contains my honest opinions and was not influenced by receiving the CD for free.) 

The day I got my CD in the mail!
Hugh's debut album features covers of rock and soul ballads and two live recordings of musical theatre classics, "Bring Him Home" and "Bui Doi." While his version of "Bring Him Home" is simply stunning and it's an incredible experience to hear his "Bui Doi" without backing vocals covering his voice up, it's clear that Hugh isn't one of those musical theatre actors that can only perform theatre-style songs. His "When a Man Loves a Woman" and "Kiss from a Rose" are the best covers I've ever heard.

The first time I listened to the album, I said, "How is he human?" out loud several times, particularly while listening to "I Who Have Nothing." Hugh has a frankly unbelievable vocal range; I knew this from listening to him on the Miss Saigon cast album, but I'm not sure I understood just how crazy it was until listening to his solo album!

The album is a well-chosen blend of songs ranging from touching musical theatre solos to upbeat songs that will have you jamming along to power ballads that showcase Hugh's voice perfectly. It's one of those that is so well-arranged that I tend to listen to it in order instead of shuffling it (the only other artist to win this distinction is Taylor Swift, for the record).

This is definitely an album that I will be listening to quite a bit on my walk to classes and recommending to all of my friends and family, whether they are musical theatre fans or not!

If you want to hear it for yourself, you can order a physical copy online or purchase the album on iTunes. You can also hear Hugh on the Miss Saigon 2014 London cast album and see him in Miss Saigon as John, as he has thankfully decided to continue playing the role after cast change in May. If you'd like to keep up with him online, you can visit his Twitter, Facebook, or website. xx
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