Ken Howard recently released a concept album featuring the cast from the LGBT-themed musical, On the Boulevard. And, it’s nothing short of a journey of emotions as listeners are swept into that world. But, is it worth a listen?
Ken Howard Releases On the Boulevard
Whether musical theater is your cup of tea or not, there’s no denying that listeners are in for an experience with On the Boulevard. If you’re a fan of more recent breakout hits like Hamilton or classics like The Phantom of the Opera, On the Boulevard certainly scratches that itch.
And, for any listeners unfamiliar with Ken Howard or his work, theater runs through his veins – literally. Ken Howard is the great-nephew of Esther Howard, a prominent theater actress in the 1920s.
Additionally, he is also the great-grandson of music director J. William Howard II. Suffice it to say, the family musical chops are on full display with this latest concept album from Ken Howard.
On the Boulevard – a Title & Standout Track
As with all musicals, there should always be one cornerstone to hang your hat on – one crowned jewel in the musical ensemble that will stick with listeners and get stuck in their heads in the best possible way. For this latest release, this is none other than the title track, On the Boulevard.
As far as an attention-getter to hook listeners right from the opening of the album, On the Boulevard does just that. And along with having an upbeat tone, the production quality and arrangement is top-notch – especially considering that the record was largely recorded with an ensemble.
By all counts, On the Boulevard accomplishes everything you’d hope an opening track would – and it’s a great way to set the mood for what’s to come.
Essential Social Commentary & More
More than just being a quirky listening experience, On the Boulevard packs quite the punch. Whether it’s tackling themes of inequality, injustice, or the pressure to stand up to societal ideas of masculinity, this album is chock-full of the type of representation that’s often missing from typical storytelling. And Ken Howard manages to tell that story across 29 tracks.
If there’s one downside to this, it’s that it’s very niche – and may not appeal to listeners that don’t already have a theater lean. But, at the same time, the artist knows his audience well.
All in all, even if this style isn’t on your regular playlist, what Howard accomplishes with this release is certainly something to commend. And, he succeeds at telling a story through sound that will indeed resonate with many.
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