Sing To Me Instead

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On March 29th of this year, Tony Award winner Ben Platt released his first debut album called Sing To Me Instead. After playing the most important role in the new(ish) musical Dear Evan Hansen, Platt’s popularity has been spread across the world through the theatre community and to everyone touched by the musical. The album is a revealing, beautifully written collection of songs that have a way of hitting you in just such an emotional way. It lets him introduce himself in a new way, a way that had been terrifying to imagine about from his small band in his garage.

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The first song on this album was released about a month before the album itself, as a kind of preview to what was to come later. The song is called “Bad Habit” and it tells the story of someone who has a bad habit of continuously going back to a person they should probably not be turning to. “Bad habit, I know / But I’m needin’ you right now / Can you help me out? / Can I lean on you?” The song brings a piano ballad with emotional lyrics and intense vocals, a superb beginning to this album.

Some of the more upbeat songs include a kind of funny song called “Share Your Address” and “New”. These both have happier sort of tunes compared to the other ten songs on the album and are a great way to break up the emotional bits.

One of my personal favorites on this album is a song called “Grow As We Go”. Ben Platt sings of a relationship where they seem to be drifting apart, close to breaking up, but he tells his partner that instead of leaving to find themselves separately, they could grow together. In an interview by BUILD Series, the interviewer mentions the music video that was recently released and he mentions that it ends with Platt crying. He explains the meaning of the song after being asked if it means a lot to him. “It does. I wrote the song when I was in a relationship with someone who I really- meant a great deal to me, I really cared a lot about him and still do, we’re still very good friends and we were in very different walks of life. We’re different ages, we lived in different places, we just- I could feel that there were a lot of places where we weren’t managing to converge and we had a lot of personal growth still to do and I knew that he knew that too.”

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I’m ending this review with my two of my other favorites on this album; “Run Away” and “Older”. Ben Platt tells his parent’s love story through the song “Run Away” and then tells the story of what we can assume is his present relationship. The chorus states “I may not be wise / And I won’t save the day / But look in my eyes / And know I’ll always stay / And I won’t run away / I won’t run away” These lines always hit me where it hurts the most and make me hopeful that I’ll have somebody to tell that to someday and I think it’s really sweet because he talks about how his parents said that to each other, then they said it to him, and now he’s saying it to his significant other. “Older” on the other hand, is one of my favorites because it was a way for him to come out as gay to the whole world. “Is the waiting all I’ve ever done? / And will I get to / Get to know myself in the place I am / Get to fall in love with another man.” He stated in an article that he’d come out to his family and close friends when he was only 12 years old. His support system had always been there and it’s something anyone could ever hope for.

This album really touched me in a way I can’t say any has before it. Ben Platt uses his music as a way to share his story with the world and possibly help others get through what they need to. So, thank you, to Ben Platt for sharing this phenomenal debut with the world, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Abby Lisk