Friday, 11 March 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Hamilton, Original Broadway Cast Recording

While at the moment, the show can only be seen on Broadway (for those who are fortunate enough to be able to spend up to $300 for a single ticket), for the majority of people, we are limited to this album to involve us in the musical phenomenon. Anyone who has heard it will understand the cultural significance. 

This is the first hip hop/rap musical to ever grace Broadway. David Cote of New 
York’s ‘Time Out’ described Hamilton as “a sublime conjunction of radio-ready hip-hop (as well as R&B, Britpop and trad showstoppers)”, and I totally agree. This cast recording is explosive. 

Writer and Lyricist, Lin Manuel Miranda has catapulted to super-stardom with this remarkable musical, which peaked at number 1 on the US Rap Album chart, and ranked 2nd on Billboard’s '25 Best Albums of 2015'. This album also recently picked up the Grammy award for ‘Best Musical Theater Album’ amongst an extensive list of others. 

This musical spectacular embraces all the passion found in truly great rap music, all the energy found in hip hop and the heart-stopping, anthemic style seen in the best musicals to create an album of pure genius, for everyone to enjoy. 

There are no ‘weak’ or superfluous tracks on this album. Every song brings 
something distinctive to the album and aids in the storytelling. Songs like ‘Satisfied’ embrace all the elements of hip hop/rap and traditional musical theatre in such an intelligent and refined way, while songs like ‘The Room Where It Happens’ are slightly more simple in composition, so will leave you humming for hours afterwards. 

 ‘You’ll Be Back’ is a chirpy monologue, with a light-hearted staccato melody, but the lyrics are psychotic! I never thought I’d see the day I’d sing along to “I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love”, with a smile on my face! With as many ‘la-dee-da’s as you could want, this song is a personal favourite of
mine, even though it’s quite different from most of the other tracks on the album!

Hamilton is not a toe-tapping, jazz hands, ‘tits and teeth’ kind of musical. It’s gritty. It’s raw. It’s brilliant

Hamilton: An American Musical Original Broadway Cast Recording is now available to buy in stores, on iTunes, and to stream on Spotify. 

Review by Harriet Langdown 

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