Saturday, 8 August 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Something Rotten! original cast recording

Something Rotten is one big comedic ode to 16th Century performance, centred around William Shakespeare. It’s fun and playful; filled with intelligent comedic writing that isn’t too outrageous and strikes the balance between musical brilliance and entertainment perfectly. 

There’s nothing offensive that might upset you, Something Rotten is tame; free of foul language and adult topics, so it’s suitable for kids and adults alike.

“A Musical” is an absolute showstopper. This song mocks musicals for being sung through, and the bizarre things we see on stage, which we don’t even bat an eyelid at, because they’re part of ‘a musical’! I am obsessed with this song. It’s just absolutely brilliant; from the delivery of the lyrics, to the composition of the melody, this stellar performance by Brad Oscar as Nostradamus should be noted as one of the best in its genre.

“Bottom’s Gonna Be on Top” has an exceptional segment surrounding rhyming couplets where Brian d'Arcy James and Christian Borle absolutely knock every single note out of the park. It’s one of the most intelligent segments of a song I
have ever heard in musical theatre. Again, accompanied by tap dancers, this song has a fabulous vibe about it. Even on the audio alone, I was exhilarated by it, so I cannot even imagine how great the stage show must look during this number. I can only hope it’ll be like The Book of Mormon’s “Turn it off” on steroids…

“It’s Hard to be The Bard” features a sultry, sexy Shakespeare. (Two words one wouldn’t normally presume to associate with one of the greatest writers the world has ever seen, but we’ll run with it).  This song is infectiously catchy, so much so, I found myself humming along after having only heard one chorus. Christian Borle shows us all exactly why he earned the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical in this awesome solo.

“Something Rotten (Make an Omelette)” is so dynamic and chirpy; I couldn’t help but tap my toes the whole way through. This climactic ‘moral of the story’ song in the musical, teaches us “when life gives you eggs, you gotta make an omelette”! It is brilliantly filled with snippets of other songs from ‘The Blues Brothers’, ‘Dreamgirls’ and ‘Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ to name a few.

Something Rotten is a toe tapping, feel-good musical soundtrack filled with catchy songs you’ll be listening to on repeat, and singing in your head for days after. You’d have to be crazy not to enjoy this one.

Review by Harriet Langdown 

Rating: ★★★

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