Album: Hamilton: An American Musical [Original Broadway Cast Recording] [PA] *
Hamilton: Alexander Hamilton
Hamilton: Aaron Burr, Sir
Hamilton: My Shot
Hamilton: The Story of Tonight
Hamilton: The Schuyler Sisters
Hamilton: Farmer Refuted
Hamilton: You'll Be Back
Hamilton: Right Hand Man
Hamilton: A Winter's Ball
Hamilton: The Story of Tonight (Reprise)
Hamilton: Wait for It
Hamilton: Stay Alive
Hamilton: Ten Duel Commandments
Hamilton: Meet Me Inside
Hamilton: That Would Be Enough
Hamilton: Guns and Ships
Hamilton: History Has Its Eyes on You
Hamilton: Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)
Hamilton: What Comes Next?
Hamilton: Dear Theodosia
Hamilton: What'd I Miss
Hamilton: Cabinet Battle #1
Hamilton: Take a Break
Hamilton: Say No to This
Hamilton: The Room Where It Happens
Hamilton: Schuyler Defeated
Hamilton: Cabinet Battle #2
Hamilton: Washington On Your Side
Hamilton: One Last Time
Hamilton: I Know Him
Hamilton: The Adams Administration
Hamilton: We Know
Hamilton: The Reynolds Pamphlet
Hamilton: Blow Us All Away
Hamilton: Stay Alive (Reprise)
Hamilton: It's Quiet Uptown
Hamilton: The Election of 1800
Hamilton: Your Obedient Servant
Hamilton: Best of Wives and Best of Women
Hamilton: The World was Wide Enough
Hamilton: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
"Hamilton" - which transferred to Broadway following a sold-out run at The Public Theatre in NYC - is the acclaimed new musical about the scrappy young immigrant Alexander Hamilton, the $10 Founding Father who forever changed America with his revolutionary ideas and actions. During his life cut too short, he served as George Washington's chief aide, was the first Treasury Secretary of the United States, a loving husband and father, despised by his fellow Founding Fathers, and shot to death by Aaron Burr in a legendary duel.
The "HAMILTON (ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING)" is executive produced by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter, founding members of the Grammy Award winning hip-hop band, The Roots. "HAMILTON" has book, music and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award-winning composer Lin Manuel Miranda, who also plays the title role. The musical is directed by Thomas Kail, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and music direction and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire. "HAMILTON" is inspired by Ron Chernow's biography "Alexander Hamilton."
Personnel: Randy Cohen (synthesizer, drum programming); Nevin Steinberg (sound effects).
Programmer: Scott Wasserman.
Audio Mixer: Tim Latham.
Recording information: The Public Theater, New York, NY (02/2015).
Director: Thomas Kail.
Inspired by the Ron Chernow biography, Hamilton: An American Musical is an innovative, hip-hop-charged stage musical about U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton. That's right, hip-hop (and ethnically diverse casting) meet the 18th century. Its creator, book writer, composer-lyricist, and lead actor, Lin-Manuel Miranda, had his Broadway breakthrough in 2008 with Into the Heights, a musical about the Latino-American Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights that also incorporated rap music into its rambunctious songbook. Miranda won a Tony and a Grammy for his songwriting for the Best Musical winner. With Hamilton, he draws on rap, contemporary R&B, pop, and classic show tunes for a dynamic style that isn't just ambitious but accessible and catchy -- and there's plenty of conventional melody. The well-over-two-hour production does a good job of balancing tone and styles, so for those who find rap, or rather theater balladry, something to be endured, relief is just around the corner. Recorded with care over several days instead of the usual single recording session, and with production oversight by Questlove and Black Thought of the Roots, the cast recording opens with alternately rapped and sung exposition on "Alexander Hamilton." Sure, the concept of rapping historical figures can take some adjusting to, but where vocals are concerned, rapping isn't that much different from recitative (between arias) in opera, chant, or any other type of rhythmic speaking ("Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man). It's the decidedly non-period R&B/21st century pop-flavored music and modern vernacular (with explicit language) in the distant setting that takes some suspension of disbelief. Once that happens, and the listener is confronted with the device quickly and impressively, it's smooth sailing. The rhythm and word plays are at such high levels -- lyrics are often delivered rapid-fire with interruptions occurring seamlessly in rhyme and in tempo -- it's hard not to be won over pretty much from the start, especially with lyrics like the sung political advice, "Talk less, smile more/Don't let them know what you're against or for" and meticulous, smile-inducing rap rhymes ("skill with the quill," etc.). Hamilton's verbosity is a running joke in the show, which comes to an apex in the "Cabinet Battles," exercises in rhetorical grandiloquence executed via a rap smackdown between Hamilton (Miranda) and, among others, Thomas Jefferson (Daveed Diggs). Another standout is the tender pop ballad "Wait for It" by Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr, and the cast. If there's a significant knock on the show, it's that there's so much information communicated in the songs -- facts, reading of documents, summaries of events -- it would certainly be tedious if not accompanied by an unusually entertaining presentation, and some will decide that it still is. However, given the musical's fairly radical rendering and the limited access to the show -- any Broadway show -- this recording seems a vital one, and time will tell if the musical is a watershed in big-budget musical theater. ~ Marcy Donelson
Pitchfork (Website) - "Miranda and his cast's delivery is steadfast and well-enunciated, the flows delivered with a watchmaker's precision."
The Hamilton original cast album deserve every single superlative that can possibly be given. Lin Manuel Miranda's exceptional musical creation about American founding father Alexander Hamilton should simply be on the ears of everyone, everywhere.
Based on the biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, it is inspirational, comedic and dramatic, with musical and lyrical influences from hip hop, RNB,to Gilbert and Sullivan and the West Wing.
It is a musical epic, written by a genius at the top of his game.
Now if I can just work out how I get to see it on Broadway...you will want to too, after buying this album!
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