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  Once is a cause to kick up one's heels. It is the celebrated new Broadway show based on the Academy Award-winning film that transferred from off-Broadway to Broadway.

 This album of the show includes the terrific songs written by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová for the highly acclaimed film of the same name. The score also features the Oscar-winning hit Falling Slowly, as well as two new songs, Abandoned in Bandon and a Czech folk song, Ej Pada Pada Rosicka. One of the unique elements of this compelling musical is that the 13-member cast of the show act, sing and play all of the instruments; there is no orchestra or separate band. This is only part of what makes it unique – and quite special.

 An interesting aspect to this original cast album is that it was produced allowing such talented actors/musicians to record the music in the same style and environment as their stage show. This recording process not only further showcases the thrilling new orchestrations by Martin Lowe, but also captures the live essence of the exceptional ensemble.

 This listener has not seen the movie or the on of off-Broadway productions (yet.) I happen to like good singers singing good songs. That's all it takes to fall in love with this sweet album. The voices are varied. The honesty is not. It all comes from the heart.

 While some of the performers are exceptional musical theatre professionals, many retain their homespun, indie roots. It's not everyday that actors and singers play their own instruments in a Broadway show. To use a forgotten word, they are similar to buskers; which means they are similar to groups or individuals who would make money from tips by entertaining in public places such as the queues in front of a theatre (this was more common in Britain decades ago.) There are a lot of jubilant moments here such as the aforementioned Abandoned In Bandon which is an instrumental back and forth number based on The North Strand, a lively number that opens the show. Too, El Pada Pada Rosicka is also a lot of fun. When the whole ensemble harmoniously convenes, as on Falling Slowly or the Gold reprise, it is so engaging, listeners will want to be part of the musical happenings.

 To be honest, the music may night suit everyone's taste. Hansard and his group The Frames used to open for Bob Dylan is his early days. That influence shows in more than one spot. Overall, the music comes from a place of natural sincerity by a couple of songwriters who care deeply about their art. They were a hands-on team in the production. This little factor and the talented team all make for a joyful noise on Broadway in a job that is very well done. And, it's all caught on this disc that is well worth having.