Welcome to Feature Fridays! Each week, AU Music Library staff highlight an item from our collection. While the library is closed, we will feature items that are available for streaming. This week Music Library Coordinator Amanda Steadman reviews Sing Street, a new Broadway musical, available through the Naxos Music Library streaming platform.
I’m a big fan of Irish film director John Carney (Once, Begin Again, Sing Street) and seeing the 2012 Broadway adaptation of his first film, Once, is a cherished memory. His latest Broadway adaptation, the charming 1980s story Sing Street, unfortunately wasn’t able to make the jump from off-Broadway before the New York theatre industry was forced to close in March. Still, the Broadway Cast recording lives on, released digitally on April 21, 2020. Hopefully, it will get its shot when Broadway reopens someday.
The synopsis of Sing Street (from the album booklet) reads: “Dublin, 1982. Everyone is out of work. Thousands are seeking bluer skies across the Irish Sea. Sixteen-year-old Conor and his schoolmates turn to music to escape troubles at home and impress a mysterious girl. With a score that embraces the New Wave sounds of the era, Sing Street celebrates the thrill of first love and the power of music.” The story, at least as far as I can gather from this synopsis, closely follows that of the 2016 film. Conor and his friends form a band and write songs that mirror the styles they hear on MTV.
My favorite songs are carried over from the film, “Drive It LIke You Stole It” and “Girls,” but the additions for Broadway fit the story and style, including the actual 80s tune “Just Can’t Get Enough,” a cover of the 1981 Depeche Mode song. The production on these tunes is pretty minimal, it’s more “80s light” than actual New Wave, but that makes for a pleasant listen in 2020.
I recommend this album to anyone looking for new musical theatre recordings and anyone nostalgic for or interested in New Wave.