Hamilton : original Broadway cast recording

  • Type: Music
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Soundtracks/Compilations
  • Recommended by: Morgan D.
  • ISBN/UPC: 075678668432
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The ship is in the harbor now/See if you can spot him/Another immigrant/Comin' up from the bottom

“And? If we win our independence?
 Is that a guarantee of freedom for our descendants?
 Or will the blood we shed begin an endless
 Cycle of vengeance and death with no defendants?”

People who care about musical theater already know that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway sensation Hamilton is a must-listen, and for those who can make it to New York and fork over $400+ for a ticket, a must-see. I dislike musical theater, generally: I still haven’t managed to listen to Fun Home and that’s based on my all-time-favorite graphic novel, so let that tell you the extent of my showtunes-hate.
Let me tell you, fellow haters: you want to listen to Hamilton. It’s as earnest and emotionally manipulative as any musical you’ll ever see, but it’s so good you won’t care. It’s about the rise and fall of Alexander Hamilton, as portrayed by a Puerto Rican actor (that would be MacArthur-winning writer Lin-Manuel Miranda himself), accompanied by the other founding fathers, all young men of color, speaking in American’s contemporary musical vernacular: that is to say, mostly hip-hop, with some R&B and pop thrown in for good measure. It’s not played as a joke: Miranda is dead serious about both the subject and the music. Cabinet meetings play out as rap battles; King George III sings menacing Brit-pop; the Schuyler sisters (Hamilton marries Eliza and loves Angelica; both get satisfyingly round and realistic characters, I'm so pleased) sound like Destiny’s Child. There’s revolution and a wedding in the first act; in the second, scandal, politicking, and disgrace lead to Hamilton’s famed duel with arch-frenemy Aaron Burr (I can only hope that wasn’t a spoiler for you). I cried. A lot. Pro-tip: listen to it in private the first time through.