Idina Menzel is an actress/ singer/songwriter who is probably best known for her Tony Award-winning performance as Elphaba in the Broadway musical “Wicked,” and as Maureen in “Rent,” for which she earned a Tony nomination. She released her first CD, “Still I Can’t Be Still,” in 1998 and “Here” in 2004. Neither album took off right away but both sold in good numbers. Now, Menzel has come out with her third and most successful CD yet, “I Stand.”
The album has 10 songs, nine of which Menzel co-wrote. It has a soft rock yet modern feel that you might hear on any music network. The album, produced by Glen Ballard, was released to rave reviews and placed 58th on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart.
The first two singles, “Brave” and “I Stand,” are rock ballads that document Menzel’s coming into her own and breaking out in the world. Other tracks include “Gorgeous,” which was first released as a single on iTunes last fall, and “Where Do I Begin,” a ballad she wrote for her husband, actor Taye Diggs.
The songs cover themes of struggle, strife, and love, and are all made unique with fantastic riffs, wrapped in Menzel’s flawless rock-and-roll voice. Her other two albums pale in comparison, and her fans will agree that this one best showcases her talent as a songwriter.
All in all, I give “I Stand” two thumbs up. It shows that a true performer can break her Broadway shell and still come out successful.