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How lucky we are to be alive right now…
Lin Manuel Miranda has created a masterwork with the emotion of Les Mis and the intelligent complexity of Sondheim, and the propulsive energy of hip-hop.
Since seeing the show in May, the wait for this album has been a daily frustration.
This show is going to change musical theatre forever. Trust me, you wanna be on the ground floor which this one folks.
You may not think you’ll like it…
I admit, I had major doubts and reservations about this whole concept when I first heard about it. I majored in history, and the Revolution and Early Republic are my focus. I have immense respect for this time period and I don’t like to see history subverted to fill a pop culture niche. I am also a major fan of musical theatre, and I participate both as a viewer and actor. I love Sherman Edward’s and Peter Stone’s 1776, and when I heard there was going to be a musical about Hamilton, one of my absolute favorite historical figures (trust me, I named my son, Hamilton, after this man), I was very excited.
All this said, I am absolutely not a fan of hip-hop/rap and most modern R&B. I feel that the vast majority is derivative, unimaginative, and adds nothing to the musical landscape. As such, I was beyond disappointed and a little upset that the time period I love so much was going to be tarnished with a “Whassup, homie?” approach.
But I gave it a listen anyway.
I stand amazed and utterly impressed by what Lin-Manuel Miranda has done with this. Not only did I (quite unexpectedly) enjoy the music, but I was relieved and thrilled to discover that Miranda treated the source material with respect and knew what he was talking about. Yes, there are of course historical inaccuracies, but nowhere near as many as in 1776, and the few that are there are standard artistic license, totally forgivable. The music is melodic and catchy, and filled with all the dramatic highs and emotional lows that you find in the best-written Broadway fare.
If you are like I was, a non-hip-hop fan staring at the album wondering if it’s worth your time, please listen as you would any other musical. Unless you are completely closed off to modern musicals, you will find something, probably many things, to like here. And this is from someone who went into the album expecting to hate it.
A great new addition to the American musical theatre family.
Lin-Manuel Miranda has written a total game-changer with Hamilton. I saw the how twice. Once Off-Broadway at the Public and again on Broadway in the Rodgers. Not only did it improve upon transfer, but it excels even better on a bigger stage in front of a bigger, more responsive house. This album contains hip-hop, rap, R&B, british pop, and even musical theatre styles, blending all of these into one large immersive experience that is massive in scope, yet intimate and moving at the same time. This is going to be the musical of our century, folks.