Leslie Odom Jr. is a busy man. In addition to starring in and co-producing the critically acclaimed revival of the Ossie Davis musical Purlie Victorious on Broadway and starring in The Exorcist: Believer, the newest installment of the cult classic Exorcist film series, he is preparing to release a new album. The Tony and GRAMMY Award winner’s fifth studio album, When A Crooner Dies, will drop on Friday, November 17th via BMG. Odom has introduced the project with two singles – “Show Me” and “Holding on to Us,” and if these two tracks are representative of the work, the album promises to be a relatable compilation of soul-bearing songs about life and love.
The lead single “Show Me” is a pensive ballad that finds Odom accompanied by singer Tatiana Marie Clark and trying to make sense of a lost love. As they harmonize throughout the song, he’s got lots of questions but no answers.
“Tell me is there something wrong with me / Don’t know if I know how to feel / Don’t know when the love got gone from me / Hologram feelings, is anything real?” Leslie sings on the hook. He ends his query with a heartfelt plea, “Tell me is it right or wrong for me / I don’t really know what it is / Searching for a sound in the silence / A word in the quiet / A whisper that will / Show me / Just show me / Just show me / Just show me.”
Odom reflects on the love he shares with his lady on “Holding on to Us.” The upbeat synth-driven bop feels like the sonic descendant of ’80s pop group a-ha’s “Take On Me.” On the track, Leslie has the life and love he’s always wanted but must fight off his inner self-saboteur to enjoy and embrace it.
“You’re the perfect mirror / When I feel myself sinking / You see the beauty in my errors / It’s got me thinking / I don’t know why I try to complicate it / I don’t know why I hide when you still see me,” he bemoans, contemplating the love fate has brought. Getting out of his head and nixing his “too good to be true” fears, Odom leans into this complementary love. “I celebrate the good and bad we go through / Sometimes it’s hard to / Oh but I will always want tomorrow to be with you / I’ll always choose you / Keep holding on to us,” he sings on the chorus.
Leslie Odom plans to bare more of his soul on When A Crooner Dies, using his personal journey to encourage others. “It was a calling for me to write about what I was going through in order to hopefully put out a project that could be the kind of project people could turn to to help them take just one more step to make it, to see one more day, to see one more sunrise, and to give it another try,” he’s quoted as saying about the collection in a profile on BET’s website.
“It’s a very special album to me,” he recently shared during an interview with Sherri Shepherd on her daytime talk show. “I went through one of those seasons of growth and upheaval, and I made the album that I needed to hear going through that.
Get a sneak preview of Leslie Odom Jr.’s most personal album to date when you listen to “Show Me” and “Holding on to Us” and watch their corresponding visualizers below. Peruse the tracklist below as well, and pre-save or pre-order digital or physical copies of When A Crooner Dies before its release.- Advertisement - - Advertisement -
Leslie Odom Jr. When A Crooner Dies tracklist:
2. Show Me
3. Holding on to Us
4. Take Me As I Am
5. Only Heaven
6. The Morning
8. Won't Hold Back