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Saturday, 30 June 2012

Album Review - Smash Soundtrack..!

If you've watched the simply amazing new series Smash you'll know what we're talking about here. If you haven't, do yourself a favour and watch it. Now! If you're a fan of music you'll love this show. Don't think of it as another Glee - it's so much more. Smash follows the lives of the cast of a Broadway musical in development about the life of legend Marilyn Munroe.

Featuring ex American Idol runner-up Katherine McPhee, Broadway and film actress Megan Hilty, who are both vying for the chance to play MarilynWill & Grace star Debra Messing and legendary actress Anjelica Houston also star in Smash which is filled with the most amazing musical numbers both original and covers that will have you wanting to watch more and more. Not only is the music great, the plot and storyline is so addictive the SCP team once watched 10 episodes snuggled under a blanket on a single cold rainy Sydney winter weekend 'cause we just couldn't turn it off! 
Recently news broke that the second series of Smash will feature another ex Idol star and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson which we're very excited about. No doubt Jennifer will add a whole new dimension to the music of the show but as a tribute to our favourite show of the year we have for you below a review of the Smash soundtrack with a review and information about every track featured.

An album filled with brilliant originals, classic and modern covers each track on the soundtrack and on the show is has production values worthy of the best awards going. Buy the Smash soundtrack - you'll love it. Watch the show - you'll love it even more, but be warned... there was one thing that we longed for after watching the show that we couldn't get. We want to see the Marilyn musical performed on the show in a live stage show!! NBC - please bring us Bombshell - the musical..!


Originals


Touch Me is the stand out original track on the album, perfectly performed by Katherine McPhee. Not part of the Marilyn stage show, it is performed off set by with One Republic's Ryan Tedder in an outstanding dance routine. If you heard this track in a club you'd lose yourself in the beat so it's amazing to find it in Smash but it works brilliantly in the show. Touch Me was released as a single and reached #5 on the US Dance Club charts but deserves so much more!


The one song that stuck with us the most of all the original tracks is the simply outstanding History Is Made At Night with the best harmonies you'll hear this side of Something Stupid. Megan and handsome Broadway star Will Chase bring such depth and feeling to this track you'll be singing it for days. Invoking the sounds of the 50's, it's amazing on the soundtrack and even more stunning on the show.
Cheeky and cute, the cast bring fun and whimsy to the track Let's Be Bad. Megan leads the cast in the brilliant sing-a-long of this track that references the best of Marilyn and gives Megan a chance to stretch those amazing chords! 


Longing for a normal life for Marilyn and Baseball star Joe DiMaggio, Megan and Will give us the delicate and beautiful Mr & Mrs Smith. Another track that while amazing on the soundtrack, when you watch them perform, a whole new side of the song opens up. 

The most performed original in the song is The 20th Century Fox Mambo. Performed by both Marilyns, Katherine and Megan smash this track out of the ballpark! (like the puns?) Perfect to show off the vocals of the leads and the brilliant cast and with the upbeat nature of this song you can just picture the routines! but watch the show and you won't have to!
Let Me Be Your Star gives both Megan and Katherine the chance to let their vocals soar. The show features Let Me Be Your Star several times through the series but the most memorable when Karen and Ivy sing the song going about their normal day in short clips, while thinking about obtaining the role of Marilyn. The song culminates in an amazing duet between the two which blows you away! 



Covers



We're big fans of the Snow Patrol song Run here at SCP - a ground breaking song like this is hard to top but we think Katherine McPhee has done it. Her rendition of Run is simply amazing and it sends shivers through our bodies here at SCP. It's the kind of track you just put on repeat... and repeat... and repeat...

Megan Hilty gives us her version of Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway with a much more acoustic feel to it and is a great track but this is one track where we definitely prefer the gutsy original.

From the Gypsy stage show, Broadway star Bernadette Peters, who also plays Karen Walker's sister in Will & Grace, performs the classic Everything's Coming Up Roses in her own style - great to watch on screen but seems a little out of place on the Soundtrack!

1960's R&B group Ruby & The Romantics get a place in Smash with Katherine bringing her own smooth groove to Our Day Will Come, which whilst still classic, has a new modern feel to it - brilliant!

Arguably the best cast member of Smash, Anjelica Houston brings us September Song from Knickerbocker Holiday, a 1930's Broadway musical and 1940's Film, back to life - we'd never have known about this song if not for Smash!

Katherine has a real command of the light, delicate vocals and Colbie Callait's song Brighter Than The Sun suits her perfectly. We like the Smash song so much prefer Katherine's version to the original!

Current songs are covered as well with Florence + The Machine's Shake It Out performed by Karen at a Bar Mitzvah for some extra cash while waiting to hear if she gets the role of Marilyn. Florence's vocals are hard to replicate but Katherine does such an amazing job you get goose bumps! Brilliant! 
One of the guest stars on Smash is Nick Jonas from the Jonas Brothers. He plays child star turned mega star Lyle West and performs Michael Buble's Haven't Met You Yet at his own birthday party. A great song, simply done, it's given us a whole new respect for Nick!
  
When we first heard this track we didn't recognise it. Megan Hilty performs  Crazy Dreams in the second episode and we were blown away. Such passion and soul in a song sung simply, with just a keyboard to accompany her and needing nothing more. We were surprised to find out that Crazy Dreams is a re-make of a country track originally sung by Carrie Underwood. Stunning.

Good move by the producers of Smash to cover a Jessie J track. Even better move to give it to Megan Hilty. If anyone could match the phenomenal vocals of Jessie J in Who You Are, it's Megan who absolutely smashes this track out with an effortless power that is astounding. Just makes you want to see her perform it live!

Donnie McClurkin is a Gospel singer and minister who's song Stand is covered when the cast visit a church in one episode. Katherine and cast member Leslie Odom, Jr sing this track with the backing of an entire Gospel choir. Brilliant in the show but we would've preferred another track like Rihanna's Cheers (Drink To That) which is performed in Times Square by Katherine and Megan surrounded by onlookers and it's just outstanding!


Anytime anyone covers the stunning Beautiful from Christina Aguilera they risk ruining this modern classic. Katherine doesn't. She brings her own unique vocals to the track, with passion, soul and a feeling only bettered by the original. Just. Have a watch yourself to the cast version film clip of Beautiful.
So there you have it. The best soundtrack of 2012 is undoubtedly Smash. Buy it - you'll love it. The Smash soundtrack is out now on iTunes..!

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