September 21, 2020

Original Broadway Cast – Jagged Little Pill – Atlantic

By Kristi Kates | Jan. 18, 2020

Unexpected but true: A Broadway show has been adapted from Alanis Morrisette’s top-sellingJagged Little Pill album. This is the cast recording from that show (now running on Broadway), and it includes all of the songs from the original album, plus some additional Alanis tunes performed well enough by the cast. The problem is that the play’s themes (scripted by Juno writer Diablo Cody) are not upbeat nor pleasant ones, much like the album itself. So while they work together just fine, both play and album are a harsh, downbeat experience for anyone but the most diehard Alanis fan. *

Various Artists – Steven Universe the Movie - WaterTower
The popular Cartoon Network series expands Steven’s universe (see what we did there?) with the character’s first musical TV movie, which arrives with a stand-out soundtrack from series creator, Rebecca Sugar, also a skilled singer-songwriter. Scoring Steven’s quest to help defend his home of Beach City are a whole host of guest performers, including Aimee Mann (“Independent Together”), Chance the Rapper, Gallant, Estelle (“Isn’t It Love?”), and more. From the first single, “True Kinda Love,” it’s evident that Steven Universe’s debut movie is just as appealing as his series. ***

Various Artists – Horizon Zero Dawn Soundtrack – Siee
Bringing composers Alexis Smith, Niels Van Der Leest, Joris de Man, and Joe Henson together with the HZD audio team, the music to accompany the hit video game is strong. Julie Elven’s strident vocal tones complement the instrumentals — a lot of alternating flute and violin, a good contrast to the futuristic/electronic sounds prevalent through most of the score. From “Prologue” to “The Good News” (which features especially strong violin), to the acapella “Song for Aloy,” this is four hours of compelling music. ***

Patrick Stump – Spell, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Milan
Following the story of an American illustrator who goes through a personal tragedy and ends up wandering alone out in an icy landscape, Spell’s soundtrack, composed by Fall Out Boy founding member Patrick Stump, deftly follows the main character’s alienated, isolated feelings via dark, haunting soundscapes that work very well stitched into the plot, in which you’re sometimes not sure what’s real and what isn’t. The track “Deep Blue Love” is the biggest standout. ** ½


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