Album Review: Broadway’s Ben Platt embraces personal side on ‘Sing To Me Instead’


Courtesy of Julian Broad

Ben Platt soared into stardom after originating the characters of Evan Hansen and Benji Applebaum, but on his debut album, he set the fictional characters aside to step into his most authentic role yet: himself.

On March 29, the Broadway and film actor released “Sing To Me Instead,” his first full-length record that details the journey of falling in and out of love, and landing back on your feet when the relationship ends. Although the album’s 12 songs are Platt’s personal reflections about his past relationships, it is easy for listeners to see themselves in his intimate songs of affection and heartbreak.

The sweet, upbeat track “Share Your Address” is about wanting to move in with your significant other, even if the relationship is still too fresh, because you can’t get enough of them. During the honeymoon period of a relationship, people fantasize about the romantic future they will share with their partner, and Platt beautifully strings together those innocent, idyllic feelings in a lyrical and danceable song.

“Ease My Mind” is a slower tune about finding someone who “can cut through all the noise” and bring serenity in moments of stress and anxiety. Platt warmly talks about finding a lover who is able to calm him down in difficult situations. The musician lets his voice effortlessly float through each soft and loud note.

At the end of every relationship, people come to the realization that the other person is no longer there for support and it is up to them to land back on their feet. The song “New” is about learning how to love yourself and feeling like a brand new person after a breakup. The fast tempo and cheery rhythm wonderfully match song’s positive spin about the process of moving on.

Platt’s gift for storytelling is exemplified throughout this album. Some songs such as “Run Away” tell their own stories, offering listeners a vulnerable and transparent look inside the musician. Also, the record as a whole tells a modern tale of falling in and out of love.

“Sing To Me Instead” showcases Platt’s beautiful singing voice and wide vocal range, such as the stream of high notes he flawlessly hits in “Better.” His fast vibrato, the signature aspect of his singing voice, is also heard throughout the album.

There is a balanced mix of slow and poppy songs, and the one thing they all share in common is a heavy use of piano. Platt spent most of his time composing the album seated behind a piano, and his ability to make the instrument work for a variety of tempos and beats highlights his natural talent as a songwriter.

At all times, Platt’s music encompasses deep lyrics and raw emotion. Although some songs sound vastly different than others, a clear sense of tenderness was conveyed in every track.

Before releasing the full album, Platt debuted some of the tracks as singles along with well-choreographed music videos to give his audience a taste of what was to come. Songs such as “Bad Habit” and “Ease My Mind,” which are the first two songs on the record, will be familiar to listeners since they were released in the beginning of February.