February 20, 2020

Various Artists – 2017 Tony Award Season – Broadway Records

By Kristi Kates | July 8, 2017

Various Artists – 2017 Tony Award Season – Broadway Records
If you can’t get to Broadway, this album — at least for your ears — is the next best thing. Broadway Records has entered into an official collaboration with the Tony Awards, so this is the first compilation album specifically for the Tonys. A portion of the proceeds go to help theater productions and arts education initiatives, so you’re already starting your purchase at a karma surplus. Then, of course, there’s all that music: the quirky “Sincerely, Me” from Dear Evan Hansen, “The Last Night of the World” from Miss Saigon, “Seeing You” from Groundhog Day, and “Nobody” from Bandstand are just a few of the standouts you’ll hear. ***

Christopher Spelman – The Lost City of Z Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Filmtrax
The 2016 movie is based on the 2009 adventure book of the same name by David Grann about a series of attempts to find an ancient lost city in the Amazon rainforest; its soundtrack travels along that same track of drama, suspense, and the sometimes murky haze of being in a misty, unfamiliar jungle environment. “The Hunt” contrasts the unknown with the familiar, as its main melody swims in bagpipes; while the more exotic, tribal drum-heavy sounds of “The Attack” and the gripping “Crossing the River” convey the peril of the whole excursion. It may not be a particularly daring or different score, but it is well suited to the film. ** 1/2

Bette Midler and Cast – Hello Dolly! The New Broadway Cast Recording – Masterworks Broadway
The talent of this show is exemplary, from the great Ms. Midler and full-of-personality David Hyde Pierce (perhaps best known as Niles Crane on the TV sitcom Frasier) and all the way to the orchestra. All of the above prove top-notch at translating a revitalized version of this old chestnut to a new Broadway era. So what’s the problem? The recording itself, which fails to capture enough of that live energy, instead adds in several unwelcome annoyances: a lack of cohesion in the orchestra mix, a hesitant feel overall, and a peculiar brand of echo that sounds like Dolly fell into a sewer tunnel. * ½

Geoff Zanelli – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Walt Disney Records
After a lackluster fourth installment that almost alienated a sizeable segment of Pirates fans, the series aims to get its bandanna’d groove back with its fifth film, and they call upon Zanelli to help recapture the vim and vigor of Johnny Depp and crew. Will you hear any audio swashbuckling? You bet — so even if the movie doesn’t live up to your pirating standards, the soundtrack will. The familiar recurring themes composer Hans Zimmer set down in the series’ earlier scores are now infused into Zanelli’s own tracks, like the suspenseful “You Speak of the Trident,” the appropriately confident “My Name is Barbossa,” and the complex, winding arrangement of El Matador Del Mar.” With subtle hooks from those original themes sprinkled throughout, this is the perfect accompaniment for a pirate revival. ***




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