1. Lazarus (Original Cast Recording) (CD) ~ Various
Lazarus, the musical presented by the New York Theater Workshop in December 2015 and January 2016, was written by David Bowie and Enda Walsh. The show opened to phenomenal critical acclaim. The New York Times raved "Ice-cold bolts of ecstasy shoot like novas through the glamorous muddle and murk of Lazarus, the great-sounding, great-looking and mind-numbing new musical," while Rolling Stone hailed it as a "Surrealistic Tour de Force... milk-swimming, lingerie-sniffing, gin-chugging theater at its finest." Lazarus is based on the classic sci-fi novel The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis. The musical includes both re-worked material from Bowie's iconic catalogue alongside brand new music.
This collection includes the full cast and band of the original New York production with their versions of the David Bowie songs from the show as the Lazarus Cast Album. The album was produced by the show's musical director Henry Hey, who had previously worked with Bowie on "The Next Day" and features vocals from actors Michael C. Hall, Sophia Anne Caruso, Cristin Milioti, Michael Esper and other cast members backed by the seven-piece house band Hey assembled for the New York run. The album was recorded January 11, 2016. Upon arriving at the studio, the musicians and cast were shocked and saddened to learn that Bowie had passed away the evening before. Their emotional performances that day are captured on this recording.
The production of Lazarus in New York also timed with the January, 2016 release of the David Bowie's final studio album . Included alongside the cast's interpretations of classics from his canon of material are the three final David Bowie studio recordings. Co-produced by Bowie and Tony Visconti and recorded with Donny McCaslin and his quartet, the same band that played on Bowie's album, these last three songs "No Plan," "Killing A Little Time," "When I Met You" bring completely new dimensions to their cast counterparts. The original version of "Lazarus" is also included on the Lazarus Cast Album.
Lazarus is based on the classic sci-fi novel The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis. The 1976 film starred Bowie himself as a hollow-eyed humanoid alien (this was during Bowie's Thin White Duke phase) who comes to the earth in search of water for his drought-ridden home planet. While Lazarus marked Bowie's first time scoring a stage show, he was no stranger to the world of theatre. His 1979 performance in the Tony-winning The Elephant Man drew rapturous responses from the critics, while of course his myriad musical personas have all had a strong theatrical streak.
2. Behold (CD) ~ Lauren Daigle
Behold plays like an audio time capsule built of saxes, trombones and other horns (even tubas!), upright bass, brushes on drums, mellow sounding hollow body guitars, and vocals that are rich and distinctive but still somehow laid-back in their feel. Whereas Lauren Daigle s debut album was energy-laced, radio-ready pop, her Christmas project seems in some ways to be a confident re-imagining of her own versatile vocal gifts, showcased in a more mature and subdued, but also more eloquent, context.
Behold includes nine yuletide standards and one original a tender, jazz reinterpretation of Lauren s first radio single Light of the World. Worshipful favorites like O Come All Ye Faithful and What Child Is This (here given a unique, uptempo feel with a fun tip-of-the-hat to Favorite Things from The Sound of Music) take their places alongside festive holiday fare like Jingle Bells and Merry Little Christmas.
3. Lighthouse (CD) ~ David Crosby
Lighthouse is an intimate, stripped-down set that highlights David Crosbys instantly recognizable voice, incisive songwriting, and incomparable guitar work. The palpable joy in the 9-song collection captures the iconic artist in an unexpected burst of inspiration.
For Lighthouse, Crosby received an able assist from Michael League, the bandleader/bassist for Snarky Puppy who executive produced and co-wrote much of the album with Crosby.
Lighthouse features a rare economy of sound, filled primarily by David Crosbys voice and guitars, and Michael Leagues bass. Theres a sparse, unvarnished quality to the tracks that allows the songs breathing room and for the full emotional weight of the lyrics to emerge, unencumbered by extraneous instrumentation.
On album opener, Things We Do For Love, written for his wife Jan, Davids vocals reflect a poetic tenderness. On Paint You A Picture, a cinematic tale of romantic regret co-written with Marc Cohn (Walking In Memphis), they are filled with remorseful resignation.
The longtime social activist lands his political punches as he bitingly condemns the craven politicians who send other peoples children to war on Somebody Other Than You, and compassionately reminds us that we are all the same on Look In Their Eyes, a poignant tale about the Syrian refugee crisis.
Particularly striking on Lighthouse is Davids piquant guitar playing, which is as inventive as always, but never flashy. By turns gentle and caustic, his work here surprised even him as he discovered new tones.
4. Never Lose Sight [Deluxe Edition] (CD) ~ Chris Tomlin
Often called America's Worship Leader, Chris Tomlin returns with his new album, NEVER LOSE SIGHT. As the songwriter behind the worship favorites How Great Is Our God, Our God, and Whom Shall I Fear, Chris' songs lead people to the heart of Jesus and into a deeper worship of Him. Featuring Good Good Father and the new single Jesus, this brand new album is filled with songs that draw us closer to Jesus and give voice to our praises, prayers, cries and hopes.