I have yet to see the musical SPRING AWAKENING (but am planning to see it February 2009 when it comes to the Fox in St. Louis). However, I have a friend whose favorite musical is SPRING AWAKENING and he recently gave me the soundtrack to listen to. I have to admit that I really enjoy it. The songs are sung in a variety of genres, but mainly have a pop-rock ballad feel to them. Many of the songs are very moving and have an emotional depth beyond just the context of the show for which they were written. My favorites include
#1 "Mamma Who Bore Me"--a bluesy folk song of remembrance. Many of my female friends have cited this as their favorite song on the album.
#3 "All That's Known"--a moving song of hopeful ambition. It sums up a young person's desire to learn, explore, and change the world.
#4 "The B*tch of Living"--a rock song that has clear references to pleasuring oneself. However, the song also is about the frustrations everyone feels in life of being in a place or position and not being able to do anything to change it.
#5 "My Junk"--a beautiful pop ballad about the love between two people.
#11 "I Believe"--an optimistic chorus of hope
#16 "Totally F*cked"--a pop-rock anthem embodying the disillusionment that happens when blind optimism meets with the harsh realities of life.
#19 "Those You've Known"--this song reflects what happens to a person after they've gone through the first major disillusionments of their life and what it takes to keep moving forward.
I'm sure most of those who have seen the show will enjoy the album, but it's also a good album if you just enjoy good music.
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Who would have thought that Duncan Sheik would succeed where Paul Simon and Randy Newman failed, successfully transitioning from the pop-rock world to the Broadway stage? WithSpring Awakening, Sheik and book writer/lyricist Steven Slater (who had already worked on Sheik's 2001 albumPhantom Moon) have created a thoroughly exciting show that incorporates a contemporary art-indie idiom (including a small rock band instead of an orchestra) into a dramatic musical-theater context. The unlikely setting is that of a Frank Wedekind adaptation, but as it turns out, teenage angst is perennial, whether it's in contemporary America or in a 1891 German boarding school. Songs such as "The Bitch of Living" ("with nothing going on, asking just what went wrong"), "The Word of Your Body," "I Don't Do Sadness," and "Totally Fucked" ("You're fucked if you speak your mind and you know you will") resonate with the rage, frustration, confusion, excitement, joy, anger, and of course budding lust of those hormone-driven years. The show is greatly enhanced by its youthful cast members (they're all pretty close in age to their characters), who sing their hearts out.--Elisabeth Vincentelli