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Wrapped around a line extending several city blocks, I was overwhelmed by the enormous amount of fanatic’s arriving to celebrate the release of Broadway star, actress, singer, and songwriter, Idina Menzel’s new album: “Idina.”, on WARNER Bros. Records.

I arrived as a mild admirer of at least her portrayal of Maureen Johnson  in the Broadway musical “Rent”, and her Tony winning role of Elphaba in “Wicked”, and of course “Frozen’s” Disney Queen Elsa and Nancy in “Enchanted”, however I left as a hardcore fan of Idina herself. She immediately caught my attention when she came on stage and asked if there were any Queens in the room. I then I became “frozen” in my tracks the moment she opened her mouth to sing.

If you could take the best female singers in the world, Whitney, Bette, Christina, Barbara, Madonna, etc., and infuse them together, you would wind up with Idina Menzel.  She opened her mini set with “Queen of Swords”, which could easily become my new favorite pop song. I shared my invitation to experience Idina with pop recording artist Aaron Paul, who was immediately able to pick up the chorus and sing right along, and who left astonished by her talent, and the fact that she was performing the tracks on her album live for the first time.

The release contains 12 tracks, sonically enjoyable, and lyrically intriguing. “Cake”, “One man’s poison is another man’s cake, makes a statement, while “Extraordinary”, is a reflective ballad, both give you something to think about. “Perfect Story”, she explained sadly, came out of the fact that she and her husband recently divorced, and she needed a way to explain it to her small child. “I Do”, also seems like a product of her divorce as well.

After the show ended, Idina came back with an encore of “Queen of Swords”, so she could go live on Facebook and share it with her fans that couldn’t be there. I was again very happy to hear it.. This song is a an essential hit, and when they remix it with a little EDM, it will be played in clubs everywhere! Her songs are all dramatically colorful, and performed with heart, substance, and validity.

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Eileen Shapiro

Best selling author of “The Star Trek Medical Reference Manual”, and feature celebrity correspondent for Get Out Magazine, Louder Than War, and Huffington Post contributor, I’ve interviewed artists from Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, and Annie Lennox to Jennifer Hudson, Rick Springfield, LeAnn Rimes, and thousands in between. My interviews challenge the threat of imagination….

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