Children’s author Sandra Boynton penned the 12 country and children’s songs on the new compilation, Frog Trouble, then she gathered several country and rock stars to record them. Among the singers on the album are Allison Krauss, Ryan Adams, Ben Folds, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Dwight Yoakam, Fountains of Wayne and Linda Eder. You can download free, legal mp3s of the tracks “Heartache Song” by Kacey Musgraves, “When Pigs Fly” by Ryan Adams and “Broken Piano” by Ben Folds at Noisetrade and buy the entire album at Amazon.
Linda Eder teamed up with Broadway and pop composer Frank Wildhorn for her new album, Now. I loved her 1997 release, It’s Time, but lost track of her over the past decade. Her genre of choice (Broadway/cabaret) isn’t one I usually like, but her impressive voice makes all the difference.
Linda once again displays a vocal power and prowess to match Barbara Streisand and Judy Garland, especially in “No Finer Man” and the moody finale “Living in the Shadow.”
“The Heat of the Night” and “What Did You See Inside the Stars” are a bit too cabaret for my taste, and the over-the-top Broadway number “Mad Hatter” – from the Upcoming musical Wonderland – is a little grating. However, those are my only complaints here.
The album’s title track is particularly enchanting, with a haunting chorus that shows off the higher soprano range of Linda’s voice. I’d love to hear her record some traditional Celtic songs or explore other genres, because the soft arrangement of “Now” is so much more complimentary to her extraordinary voice than the peppier Broadway and jazz songs she usually records.
The pretty ballad “A Woman in His Arms” is another highlight. This isn’t an album that will appeal to everyone, but you’ll love it if you do like big, old-fashioned voices like Streisand and Garland.