Thursday, June 14, 2012

Once And Again...and Again (Music Review: Once Original cast Recording)

Now that it won the Tony for Best Musical, I thought I would write bout the Original Cast Recording of ONCE. The only word I could think of to describe the music would be "soulful." And I hesitate to use that, because I get this vision of R & B music when I hear that word. The music of ONCE is the farthest thing, stylistically, from Rhythm and Blues. But it definitely has rhythm, it's about the blues, and yes, it most definitely has soul. Most of the music are the same from the movie soundtrack from which this musical was adapted from. But, I find the versions here to be very different. The original versions, by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, have a more indie-rock feel. The songs here, have a more "theatrical" feel.  Maybe because I have seen the show, but these songs resonate more because of the dramatic context as I remember them. And the voices of Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti have an urgent, loving desperation that each note they sing compounds their emotions. i think I have written before that I will probably never tire of listening to "Falling Slowly," but there are two solos here that touch me just as deeply: Kazee's "Gold," and Milioti's "The Hill." But there's no throwaway track, really.  I am even astounded that I have played the Irish standard "Chandler's Wife" more than twenty times.  I do understand that these aren't book songs (they songs do not really move the story forward in the traditional sense) so the recording may be a little hard to follow for someone who have not seen the movie or the show. But as a "snapshot" of what is playing at the Bernard Jacobs Theater, this is as good as it gets. 

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