Album Review: O’Farrell Street by Shoshana Bean

ImageWith the aid of the most glorious fundraising place in the world, Kickstarter.com, Shoshana Bean was able to release her sophomore album entitled O’Farrell Street. Former Broadway star, of shows like Hairspray and Wicked, Bean has returned to her roots of R&B and Soul. The album has 10 songs on it, including her promotional singles Blood From A Stone and Runnin’ Out of Days. Thanks to over 430 backer s, myself included, she was able to raise $28,700 for the creation of the album. This all was encouraged through generous rewards like: early downloads of the album, tickets to release concerts, Skype conversations, voice lessons, and even private in-home concerts. After the jump I am going to review each song on the album, upon its first two listens!

1.) Cold Turkey – Quite possibly the best way to start off the album. Upbeat, and joyous. Very remembrant of late-60’s Jazz, the era of those positive break up songs. A great drum break down, that is fun to jam out to. Listen to a bit of it here.

2.) Smoke and Mirrors – An honest, yet smoothly happy, song about loving someone purely and wholly. A love that has no bullshit attached to it, probably the best kind of love that there is. The song reflects that, perfectly made for dancing up close with that special someone. Listen to a clip here.

3.) 5 Minutes – A powerful ballad about wanting what, or who, you can’t have. And then not knowing what to do once you have it. A plead for the attention of another. This song really shows how much that Shoshana Bean has really grown since her last album. Listen here.

4.) Broken Even – Being lonely when you are hurt so badly, and how it is in fact the best feeling ever. Being able to move on, because you don’t hold any ill feelings. This is my new life theme song, I love its meaning so much! Listen to Broken Even here.

5.) Gin and Cigarettes – I really think that they need to make another Bond film because this song fits right in with the greats like Goldfinger, Skyfall, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Diamonds are Forever. By far the most reminiscent song on the album, fondly recalling a past time and the void that its absence has left in the present. Listen to this amazing song here.

6.) Blood From A Stone – The anthem to trying your hardest at something that just won’t work. Knowing you’ve put your all into a relationship and have gotten absolutely nothing out of it. My favorite part is the acapella breakdown, with just a little bit of help from the drums. Also the ritardando at the very end puts a perfect endcap on the albums second single. Listen to it here.

7.) Runnin’ Out of Days –  The perfect leading single for the album. Serves a perfect summary of the entire album as a whole. Being so focused, and in love, that you don’t even realize how amazing everything. If I had to give Bean a nickname based off this song it would probably be, “Riff Alotta,” because thats what she does; riffs, runs, and flips her voice all over the place. This cra-zazy song can be listened to here!

8.) I am Not Unchanged – This soulful ballad proves that you can learn something from anything. No matter how short, painful, or dramatic, an experience is, you can grow from it. Everything we do affects who we are, and every person we interact changes us. The importance is in finding the silver lining in everything. However the songs buildup is solid gold perfection. Listen to the powerful ballad here.

9.) Quittin’ Time – Knowing exactly when the right time to give up, and pull out of something, is an extremely important knowledge to have. Past the romantic ideas of it, take it as literally as the lyrics can be, sometimes you just have to leave jobs behind. I just hope that Shoshana Bean doesn’t leave singing behind, because this song is amazing. There is such emotion and power behind it, you can hear it all the way down to the growl in her voice. If you don’t believe me, listen to Quittin’ Time here.

10.) Water – Probably the most perfect ending to an albums story. The most spiritual and inspiring song on the album. People, places, and things, come and go out of your life so quickly. But we have to stick together, because we don’t have anything if we don’t have each other. It’s quite hard not to be moved to tears by this songs emotional power. Just give it a listen yourself, here.

 

Overall I love this album so very much, and for two main reasons. One being that is has no fillers, the usual album has songs that are just to take up space, this does not. Each and every song was selected for a reason and has emotions behind it, if at least devotion. Also it serves the emotional powder keg that life is about constantly learning, and growing, from experiences that you have, albeit romantic or not. As a dedicated member of Shoshana’s Congregation I can only wait with eager ears for what she has to come in the future. And I thank her so much for delivering such a stellar album.

 

Shoshana Bean’s album, as well as other goodies, can be purchased in the following ways:

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