Molly Ringwald

Except Sometimes

Concord Records
Who’d have thought that the fragile star of teen angst movies, Molly Ringwald, would become a chanteuse? Our juvenile has grown up. In her CD Except Sometimes she takes on standards associated with far more accomplished singers and comes out quite—well, not totally convincing, but well.

Her husky “Sooner or Later” (Sondheim) doesn’t quite give Madonna a run for her money, but makes a simple, straightforward statement of its own. Sung to a quiet piano accompaniment, “I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)” (Hoagy Carmichael/Jane Brown Thompson) is touchingly simple, lacking only underlying ironic sadness. She misses the jauntiness of Frank Loesser’s “I Believe in You,” but finds the naïve sweetness in “Where Is Love?” (Lionel Bart) and “Pick Yourself Up” (Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields). “The Ballad of the Sad Young Men” (Fran Landesman/Thomas J. Wolf) should break your heart, but—even with a touching cello break—Ringwald sounds more concerned than tortured.

Despite this, she cannot be accused of being glib or superficial. Although her interpretations aren’t deep, they are honest. The tone throughout the CD is pretty much pleasant, conversational, thoughtful and lovely. There’s not much passion, but a strange wistfulness prevails.

At 45, Ringwald still sounds girlish with just enough sophistication in her interpretations to making listening to Except Sometimes worthwhile. She’s good company for a while.

Joel Benjamin
Cabaret Scenes
April 1, 2013
www.cabaretscenes.org