Sound Advice
November 2006

LML Records

Winter Tracks - Susan EganThe sunny personality and sound of Susan Egan lights up a stage and always comes through on disc.  Two songs about holiday lights are highlights that find this theater performer exercising her acting muscles nicely.  One is "Little Colored Lights" by Laurence Holzman, Felicia Needleman and Wendy Wilf, featured in the holiday revue That Time of the Year, which just opened at the York Theatre in a smart and bright production. Georgia Stitt's intelligent and thoughtful "At Christmas," about the day after the holiday, presents a character with a specific point of view and an underlying sadness. There's noble strength in the Chanukah song "We Are Lights" by Stephen Schwartz and Steve Young, sung with real richness.  "Cold Enough to Snow," another Schwartz  collaboration (with Alan Mencken), is welcome, as is the Mencken/Lynn Ahrens  joint effort "God Bless Us Everyone."  The  Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty "All Those Christmas Cliches" is heartfelt, too. 

Susan is accompanied by her usual musical director / co-producer / keyboardist, Christopher McGovern, who contributes one original song about Thanksgiving.  It's called "The Turkey and the Stuffing" and is about forgoing the usual holiday hassles and hang-ups and just staying home a frozen TV dinner and a six-pack and her romantic partner (not listed in order of importance).

There's a charm factor that seems to come along with Susan Egan.  I've always found her delightful, and the girlish glow seems genetically embedded in her persona.  Here and there, in the material that comes already loaded with cute quotient, Winter Tracks treks through some highly sweetened territory and it's like having candy canes for breakfast.  Taking the relentlessly and chipper "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" at a slightly slower pace than usual doesn't really diminish the wholesome perkiness praising "the hap-happiest season of all" with is "gay, happy meetings." 

There's a tender touch with Cyndi Lauper's "New Year's Baby (First Lullaby)" - Susan's major New Year project is having a baby in early February.   With that and her Disney credits, plus her youthful sound, can the Susan Egan children's album be far behind?