I must admit it: I am an avid musical theatre fan. So it was a shock to me when I stumbled upon a show I’d never heard of: Spring Awakening. Out of blatant curiosity, I listened to one of the tracks.
From the start I knew this show was unlike any I’d ever heard: the music sounded more acoustic rock than Broadway musical. Critics of the show have hailed it as “the new RENT” and, while I must remain loyal to my favorite show, I must admit that Spring Awakening quickly took top place on my Broadway pedestal – and my iPod. I eagerly got my hands on the soundtrack the first chance I got, and haven’t stopped listening to it since.
Lea Michele, starring as one of the leads, Wendla, starts off the cast recording (and the show) with a beautiful ballad called “Mama Who Bore Me.” The song gives way to it’s much fiercer reprise, enlisting harmonies from all five principle girls. From there it segues into “All That’s Known” a song that shows off Jonathan Groff as Melchior’s vocals.”The B**** of Living” and “My Junk” are two songs that showcase the ensemble quite nicely; and “The Word of Your Body” gives Michele and Groff a chance to really shine. However, one of the beautiful (and often overlooked) tracks is the haunting “The Dark I Know Well” performed by Lilli Cooper and Lauren Pritchard.
Perhaps one of the best tracks on the album is “Don’t Do Sadness/Blue Wind,” performed by John Gallagher, Jr. as Moritz and Lauren Pritchard as Ilse. “Totally F*****” is a driving rock anthem, one of those songs that makes you want to jump up and shout “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah” with the rest of the cast. “Those You’ve Known,” the song between the three principle characters – Moritz, Melchior, and Wendla – will bring any musical fan to tears. The recording wraps up nicely with “The Song of Purple Summer,” the finale song of hope and longing.
Overall, Spring Awakening is a Broadway gem to delight any fan of musical theater-and those who still don’t appreciate the genre.