At the age of 12, Drew Gaspirini wrote his first song as a gift for his mother on Mother's Day. In 2006, he won the John Lennon Songwriting Award. He has toured as a performer with Jason Mraz, Third Eye Blind, and the Plain White T's. He contributed music to Oxygen's The Next Big Thing, and his song "Good For You" was sung by Katharine McPhee in the second season of NBC's SMASH. Additionally, Gasparini is a budding musical theater composer, having written the book and lyrics for Above My Pay Grade, Circles, Inappropriate Stories Told At a Bar, and Crazy, Just Like Me, which was the winner of "Best of Fest" in the 2011 New York Musical Theater Festival. For his 2013 studio album with Broadway Records, I Could Use a Drink: The Songs of Drew Gasparini, Gasparini gathered some of Broadway's freshest and most-exciting new talents to record a diverse mix of his semi-autobiographical numbers and his cutting-edge music theater songs.
There is not a single bad song across the eclectic collection. Gasparini's song writing skills are engaging and deftly captivating. His compositions are rollicking and energetic. His lyrics pulse with vibrant poignancy and appealing wit. As a songwriter, his craft excels in presenting listeners with his observations of common life events set to tunes that are as engaging as they are intriguing. Gasparini has an almost magical understanding of how to craft expressive tonality. Some of the sonic landscapes created in his scoring for these songs are surprisingly unsettling, while others are warmly inviting. Gasparini is deftly talented in creating songs that easily hook listeners while maintaining his artistic integrity with their complexity and their ability to both gratify and satiate audiences. None of these songs are throw away pop radio tunes. Like well-crafted literature, they are meaty and purposefully meaningful.
Singing these impressive songs is a coterie of young Broadway stars. Fans of Broadway will immediately recognize Jeremy Jordan (Newsies, SMASH), Jennifer Damiano (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Next To Normal), Caissie Levy (Ghost, Murder Ballad), Lindsay Mendez (Dogfight, Wicked), Rachel Potter (Evita), and Alex Wyse (Lysistrata Jones, Triassic Parq). Fans of FOX's American Idol will be glad to hear Justin Guarini on the disc as well. Each performer on the recording delivers brilliant vocalizations on their assigned numbers. Standouts include Alex Brightman's apprehensive but lively charm on "A Little Bit," Kasie Gasparini's strong vocals and belt on "Two Little Lines," Jeremy Jordan's introspective urgency on "No Turning Back Now," Nick Blaemire and Rachel Potter's stirringly emotional duet on "You Can't Bring Me Down," Alex Wyse's delicately emphatic rendition of "Right Here," Drew Weston's emotionally raw and empowering take on "Disaster," and Lindsay Mendez's darkly frantic vocals on "Circus."
I Could Use a Drink: The Songs of Drew Gasparini is a brilliant showcase of a young composer's proficiently skillful talent. It is also comforting to know that the current generation of emerging artists is more than capable of carrying the torch of invigorating and original musical theatre compositions and performances into the future.
Broadway Records digitally released I Could Use a Drink: The Songs of Drew Gasparini on April 19. Physical copies of the album were released on April 23. The album can be purchased iTunes, Amazon, and elsewhere music is sold.