IN THE HEIGHTS (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is captivating and beautiful
Perhaps the most magical thing about IN THE HEIGHTS is the palpable joy that emanates from the show, however you experience it. After years of studying Original Broadway Cast Recording, IN THE HEIGHTS (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is a wonderfully welcome treat. Experiencing the energy that the new arrangements and new voices bring to the beloved material is a delight from start to finish. Even though the film’s reduced track list looks more like a âhighlightsâ album, recording the clips with glee and will easily make listeners dance and sing along.
The first thing die-hard fans of the musical will notice is that several of the songs have been moved to new places, but that doesn’t disrupt the flow of storytelling that occurs as we bounce from track to track. ‘other. Then there are several lyric changes that stand out. The most notable changes are the problematic bits and references which haven’t aged as well as the rest of the hardware. For example, the mention of Donlad Trump and the lyrics “Yo, I got more houes than a phonebook in Tokyo” in “96,000” have been completely replaced. And, honestly, they are not missed. Additionally, the frenetic and frenzied layering of âBlackoutâ has been reduced to ensure that the plot elements that the film chooses to highlight are highlighted. Several of the subplot parts we are used to hearing on the original Broadway Cast recording have been taken out completely, but the original vibe and vibe of the number remains, and the “Blackout” of the film is very effective.
The album’s vocal performances are spectacular and each brings breathtaking new life to this beloved collection of dreamers. As Usnavi, Anthony Ramos is an engaging and exuberant narrator that we can’t help but love and support. Corey Hawkins’ Benny is endearing, kind and heartily romantic. As Nina, Leslie Grace takes listeners on a journey from melancholy to empowered. Vanessa de Melissa Barrera is savvy and strong. Gregory Diaz IV’s street-smart Sonny is a bit rougher than his Broadway counterpart, but he’s still utterly charming when he needs it.
Likewise, Olga Merediz, Abuela Claudia of the original Broadway cast, reprizes her role with poise and grace, and delivers a new take on “Paciencia y Fe” that offers more layers, more nuance and is ultimately more remarkable. than I could have imagined. . Broadway royalty Daphne Rubin-Vega stars as Daniela, bringing her smoky vocal signature to one of the most fabulous and imposing female characters ever written. Stephanie Beatriz as Carla and Dascha Polanco as Cuca are effervescent pleasure. Shifting from the lead role to that of Piraguero, Lin-Manuel Miranda is in his element on “Piragua”, ensuring that the thematically rich number is truly vibrant.
I can’t comment on how these songs work in the context of the film as I haven’t seen it yet; However, listening to IN THE HEIGHTS (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), I’m sure the movie is as captivating and beautiful as we dreamed it would be. It’s quite clear that great care was taken to preserve the qualities that made the Broadway version of the show so memorable and magical while re-orchestrating and rewriting those songs for the idiom of the movie. When it comes to movie soundtracks, IN THE HEIGHTS is among the best and will be an album that many, myself included, will happily revisit on several occasions throughout this summer and the rest of our lives..