Monday, May 4, 2015

MEDIA MONDAY: The Last Ship Original Broadway Cast Recording

The Last Ship was one of my favorite shows of the season just past.  As I mentioned in my review (HERE), I did not go into it thinking I'd like it, let alone love it after seeing the totally boring PBS special.  Seeing it with the full story and an amazing cast certainly contributed.  Maybe what those songs really needed was a little more love from Sting and gorgeous orchestrations (and arrangements and musical direction) by Rob Mathes.  I think it's a safe bet since they are both 2015 Tony Award nominees in a relatively strong season for scores (if not complete musicals).  Fortunately, we have the equally amazing cast recording that preserved that beautiful sound and wonderful set of performances. The score features pop styling, pub songs and lots of maritime sounds.  It's full of emotional character songs, power ballads, and rousing group numbers.  All these months later, I still listen to it regularly.

My favorite songs (the ones you should buy if you don't get the whole thing):

From Act One:

  • "All This Time" - Michael Esper had me in the palm of his hand the minute he opened his mouth.
  • "Dead Man's Boots" - The drama!  The raw emotion!  
  • "What Say You, Meg" - A lovely song by itself, and even lovelier in the context of the show. Aaron Lazar certainly made the most of what little he was given to do with this number.
  • "We've Got Now't Else" - Every epic story of the downtrodden story needs a rallying cry, and this is a terrific one.  As my steering wheel how much I love pounding out the beat on this one!  And I sing the refrain throughout my day at cubicle farm.
  • "When We Dance" - This song just shows how great Esper, Lazar and Rachel Tucker really were.  Their chemistry and emotions blast right through the speakers (and ear buds).

Act Two featured my two favorite songs of the whole thing:

  • "The Night the Pugilist Learned How to Dance" - The title doesn't sound like a song as much as a short story. In this case, it is both.  And it was the opportunity for Esper and breakout star Collin Kelly-Sordelet to create a scene where Broadway fans can see the present and future of the art form.  (I can't wait to see what they both do next!)
  • "Show Some Respect" - Led by the gutsy and dynamic Sally Ann Triplett, this song all by itself is infectious and powerful, but given the context of a funeral for a beloved community member, it goes to a whole other level.  Catchy and haunting.

Actually, the entire score is catchy and haunting.  If you don't have it already, I heartily recommend purchasing it. The whole thing.

Grade: A+


1 comment:

  1. What part of you did Michael Esper have in the palm of his hands?


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