Friday, March 31, 2006

Doin' the Friday Shuffle

1. "The Fly" - U2 - Achtung Baby
A song that just grows on me more and more over the years. I can still vividly remember being excited to hear this, the first new U2 song in a few years, as a senior in high school, and how taken aback I was by the sound and style, so different from the late 80s stuff I had fallen in love with. It didn't take long for me to acclimate to the song though. Now, it sounds positively old-school.

2. "One Wonderful Night" - Stephen Sondheim - Saturday Night (2002 Off-Broadway Revival Cast)
Sondheim, in his first full musical, writing in a traditional Broadway sound he'd never really produce again.

3. "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothin'" - Living Colour - Biscuits
A cover of the James Brown song by the underrated hard rock band. Few rock bands can authentically mix funk and real hard rock like these guys could.

4. "Hide and Seek" - John Williams - A.I. (Film Score)
A soft, playful, and somewhat haunting cut from one of Williams' best, and most underrated, scores.

5. "My Heart Is So Full of You" - Frank Loesser - The Most Happy Fella (2000 Studio Cast Recording)
Operatic duet from one of Broadway's most lush, full-bodied scores.

6. "Pray - Reprise" - Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens - Once on this Island (Original Broadway Cast)
Caribbean-flavored Broadway melodies.

7. "It's All the Same" - Mitch Wasserman and Leigh - Man of La Mancha (2002 Broadway Revival Cast Recording)
A lusty showcase of a song, with steamy, indolent guitars and Mary Louis Mastrontonio delivering a surprisingly credible vocal given the infamous vocal difficulty of the role of Aldonza.

8. "This Is Halloween" - Danny Elfman - The Nightmare before Christmas (Film Score)
A great, great opening number from one of the best Hollywood musicals of what - the last twenty-five years?

9. "Mountain Duet" - Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus - Chess (1996 London Concept Cast)
The pre-progenitor of the pop-opera musical. The Abba guys really wrote a great score here, full of big, sweeping melodies and some impressively intricate and fun instrumentals. This duet does a fine job of taking big, belty melodies and imbuing them with a real sense of melancholy.

10. "As If We Never Said Goodbye" - Andrew Lloyd Weber (sung by Betty Buckley) - Betty Buckley: An Evening at Carnegie Hall
Buckley singing a ballad seemingly tailor-made for her strong, big voice. When she lets loose on those big notes - "I've come home at last" - singer and song kind of fuse.

Until Whenever

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