Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
In The Heights (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Get ready to experience an exhilarating journey into one of Manhattan's most vibrant communities, named "BEST MUSICAL OF THE YEAR" by NewYork Magazine and "BEST OF 2007" by The New York Times. With an amazing cast, incredi... more »
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Get ready to experience an exhilarating journey into one of Manhattan's most vibrant communities, named "BEST MUSICAL OF THE YEAR" by NewYork Magazine and "BEST OF 2007" by The New York Times. With an amazing cast, incredible dancing and a gripping story of hope and self discovery, In The Heights is your ticket into a world where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. Find out what it takes to make a living, what it costs to have a dream, and what it means to be home...In The Heights.
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Member CD Reviews
Reviewed on 8/14/2012...
If you like a Latin beat with a touch of urban/Latin rap, this cd is for you. Wonderful story, fantastic music.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Steven Valenti | Cleveland, OH | 06/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""In the Heights," the new musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, comes across vibrantly on this deluxe 2-disc cast recording. It's the best Latin-themed musical score since Paul Simon's "The Capeman." (Actually it might be the ONLY one since then, but nice that the field is growing!)
The show is set in the New York neighborhood of Washington Heights over a couple of days, where Latinos of various backgrounds converge and mingle with each other-- particularly with Usnavi, a young shopkeeper played with unyielding charisma by Miranda himself. There are a couple of romances, despair over debts and futures, neighborhood gossip, some business about the lottery, a blackout, and to be honest, more than a few clichés that had the cynic in me squirming a bit. The emphasis is on depicting a specific N.Y. community (echoes of "Rent"), and the plot elements are pretty formulaic, to be sure. But if I do wish the characters had more original things to sing about, that's okay-- the music is much too enjoyable not to be lenient.
Mixing a variety of styles, the score is thoroughly modern and Latin-flavored. There are salsas, pop ballads, and-- most surprisingly-- a significant amount of rap (assigned mostly to Miranda's Usnavi). Of course, various composers have successfully incorporated other genres-- classical, opera, pop, rock, country, jazz, etc. -- into past shows. But with "In the Heights," Miranda has really broken new ground for the use of rap in musicals. True, rap has been used before in musicals from time to time, but not this skillfully-- this is the first time I didn't find myself cringing. Lots of credit to Miranda for that--for his performance and for his nimble lyrics, which make it all work seamlessly.
But there's a lot more than rap, and it's not a one-man show. The rest of the talented cast shines on these discs, too-- especially Mandy Gonzalez and Christopher Jackson who, as the central romantic couple, get to use their attractive pop voices on the highest number of tracks. The score offers plenty of playful, Latin-tinged melodies, but the discs really excite with the ensemble numbers,--the opening "In the Heights," the hip-hop-styled "96,000," the first act's final numbers "The Club" and "Blackout," and the second act showstopper "Carnaval Del Barrio." Miranda has a genuine sense of theatricality and it's on full display when the cast is working together (along with the fantastic band). There's hardly a dull moment to be found on these discs-- among the decade's new cast recordings, "In the Heights" stands high indeed.
Broadway is back!
K. Todd | 06/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If Spring Awakening wasn't enough to convince you last year that Broadway is back and better than ever, then Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In the Heights" should. The music and lyrics are pure gold, seamlessly fusing latin and modern musical theatre into one of the best scores to grace Broadway in recent history. Miranda's work has brought Broadway back into the mainstream. Is this a bad thing? Most certainly not. "In the Heights" understands that there are more people to reach than the traditional stuffy theatre-goer. It reaches a much broader audience with modern music and lyrics that are smart, melodic, and fresh.
Though every song stands out, there are a few with extra special moments. The title song is probably one of the best openers in recent Broadway history. "It Won't Be Long Now" has fantastic lyrics (as I sweep the curb, I can hear those turbo engines blazing a trail through the sky) and melody that will be in your head for days, in the good way. "96,000" follows the trail of traditional hip-hop, though the lyrics are extremly witty. The Act I finale, "Blackout", boats exteremly lush chords and writing.
The performances themselves are equally powerful. The show's creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, plays Usnavi, the quasi-narrator of the show. His performance doesn't merely tell a story, but invites you to be a part of it. Vanessa, Usnavi's evasive love interest, is played by big-voiced Karen Olivo. Nina, homeward bound college student, is brought to life by Mandy Gonzalez. Her power ballad, "Everything I Know", is also one of the show's strongest songs. Abuela Claudia, the mother figure that ties the characters together, is portrayed with a pure honesty by Olga Merediz, whose voice could outsing even Wicked's biggest stars.
If "In the Heights" is really the future of broadway, then that future is very bright. This is a must have for your collection."