Next to Normal [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

( 28 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
"To me, Next to Normal is like an independent film," writes the musical's director, Michael Greif, in his liner notes to the original Broadway cast album, and that's a good way to think about this small-scaled show six actors, seven musicians that began Off-Broadway and, in truth, is closer to the kind of serious work that Off-Broadway produces rather than the lighter, larger fare that tends to play on Broadway in the early 21st century, or that, by analogy, is closer to the kind of low-budget independent film that is first seen at the Sundance Film Festival than to a big-budget Hollywood movie that opens in thousands of theaters. Actually, though, there is a place for...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
"To me, Next to Normal is like an independent film," writes the musical's director, Michael Greif, in his liner notes to the original Broadway cast album, and that's a good way to think about this small-scaled show six actors, seven musicians that began Off-Broadway and, in truth, is closer to the kind of serious work that Off-Broadway produces rather than the lighter, larger fare that tends to play on Broadway in the early 21st century, or that, by analogy, is closer to the kind of low-budget independent film that is first seen at the Sundance Film Festival than to a big-budget Hollywood movie that opens in thousands of theaters. Actually, though, there is a place for both. Usually, you can still find one of those Sundance-type movies playing in one small theater of a multiplex on most weekends, just as you can still find one musical on Broadway that isn't aimed at children or tourists for whom English is a second language. Recent examples include Light in the Piazza and Spring Awakening, and like them, Next to Normal captured the Tony Award for best score. The indie film-like story is a contemporary examination of an American family in which a trauma has unbalanced the mind of the mother, leading to encounters with the prescription drugs and therapy that characterize current medical treatment for mental illness. Brian Yorkey, who wrote the book and lyrics, tells the story in vernacular language, and composer Tom Kitt sets the words to guitar-driven pop
ock in a style that's been familiar since the late '60s; it's Tommy one minute and James Taylor's greatest hits the next. The acoustic guitars and lilting piano themes come out when the singers are expressing sensitive feelings, and when they get angry the electric guitars play aggressive power chords and the drums pound. Both moods occur frequently, as the family attempts to work through its troubles. Alice Ripley also a Tony winner for the show leads a good cast that might have been a bit more varied vocally. Did all four male actors have to be similar-sounding tenors? On disc, it's confusing. Like many independent films, Next to Normal is largely a downbeat character study although, unlike most independent films, it ends with a hopeful, anthemic song, "Light," which isn't necessarily justified by the conclusion of the plot, but might be needed to send the audience out with a bit of optimism. This is not the show or the score for people looking for something to see after Mary Poppins and Shrek to name two musicals on Broadway at the same time. But for musical theater fans hoping for some degree of intellectual heft and emotional maturity, it's a must-see.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/12/2009
  • Label: Ghostlight
  • UPC: 791558443325
  • Catalog Number: 84433
  • Sales rank: 11,334

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Act 1. Prelude (0:26)
  2. 2 Act 1. Just Another Day (3:50)
  3. 3 Act 1. Everything Else - Jennifer Damiano (1:50)
  4. 4 Act 1. Who's Crazy/My Psychopharmacologist and I (5:03)
  5. 5 Act 1. Perfect for You - Jennifer Damiano (2:03)
  6. 6 Act 1. I Miss the Mountains (3:46)
  7. 7 Act 1. It's Gonna Be Good (1:26)
  8. 8 Act 1. He's Not Here (1:15)
  9. 9 Act 1. You Don't Know (1:30)
  10. 10 Act 1. I Am the One - Aaron Tveit (3:17)
  11. 11 Act 1. Superboy and the Invisible Girl - Jennifer Damiano (2:08)
  12. 12 Act 1. I'm Alive - Aaron Tveit (3:14)
  13. 13 Act 1. Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I'm Falling (3:59)
  14. 14 Act 1. I Dreamed a Dance - Aaron Tveit (2:20)
  15. 15 Act 1. There's a World - Aaron Tveit (1:35)
  16. 16 Act 1. I've Been (2:45)
  17. 17 Act 1. Didn't I See This Movie? (1:30)
  18. 18 Act 1. Light in the Dark (2:45)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Act 2. Wish I Were Here (3:06)
  2. 2 Act 2. Song of Forgetting - Jennifer Damiano (3:30)
  3. 3 Act 2. Hey #1 - Jennifer Damiano (1:39)
  4. 4 Act 2. Seconds and Years - Louis Hobson (0:40)
  5. 5 Act 2. Better Than Before - Jennifer Damiano (4:29)
  6. 6 Act 2. Aftershocks - Aaron Tveit (1:47)
  7. 7 Act 2. Hey #2 - Jennifer Damiano (1:24)
  8. 8 Act 2. You Don't Know (Reprise) - Louis Hobson (1:28)
  9. 9 Act 2. How Could I Ever Forget? (2:50)
  10. 10 Act 2. It's Gonna Be Good (Reprise) (0:32)
  11. 11 Act 2. Why Stay?/A Promise - Jennifer Damiano (2:36)
  12. 12 Act 2. I'm Alive (Reprise) - Aaron Tveit (1:12)
  13. 13 Act 2. The Break (1:23)
  14. 14 Act 2. Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I'm Falling (Reprise) - Louis Hobson (1:41)
  15. 15 Act 2. Maybe (Next to Normal) - Jennifer Damiano (4:01)
  16. 16 Act 2. Hey #3/Perfect for You (Reprise) - Jennifer Damiano (2:23)
  17. 17 Act 2. So Anyway (3:08)
  18. 18 Act 2. I Am the One (Reprise) - Aaron Tveit (2:17)
  19. 19 Act 2. Light (4:22)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Charlie Alterman Primary Artist, Piano, Conductor
Original Cast Recording Indexed Contributor
Randy Landau Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass
J. Robert Spencer Vocals
Alice Ripley Vocals
Jennifer Lang Cello
Damien Bassman Percussion, Drums
Michael Aarons Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Yuiko Kamakari Violin, Keyboards
Aaron Tveit Vocals, cast
Adam Chanler-Berat Vocals
Eric Davis Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Louis Hobson Vocals, cast
Jennifer Damiano Vocals, cast
Technical Credits
John Kilgore Engineering
Joel Moss Producer, Engineer
Michael Starobin Orchestration
David Stone Producer
Scott Hull Mastering
Michael Greif Liner Notes
J. Robert Spencer Composer
Alice Ripley Composer
Kurt Deutsch Producer
Brian Yorkey Composer, Lyricist, Book
Tom Kitt Composer, Producer, Orchestration
David Stone Producer
Aaron Tveit Composer
AnnMarie Milazzo Vocal Arrangements
Louis Hobson Composer
Jennifer Damiano Composer
Adam Chanler-Berat Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautifully thought-provoking

    Living so far away from Broadway, I tend to rely on the Tony Awards to sort of 'preview' the newest hit musicals before finding out more. And wow, I'm sure glad I tuned in for Next to Normal's performance. Absolutely stunning. Especially impressed with the actors' performances; for such a small cast they certainly have a truckful of talent. Music styles vary, thus allowing for a unique sound that displays the range of each cast member while still having a score that's still familiar. The humor is sly and somewhat irreverent, but despite this, the show never deviates from it's true purpose of getting you emotionally attached. Excellent portrayal of a modern family going through struggles. Also interesting in Aaron Tveit's character; despite the somewhat 'fantastic' element of Gabe, his performance makes it totally believable and heartbreaking. Truly a must-listen (and see, if you have the opportunity).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A riveting musical exploration of the impact mental illness has on a family

    Lyrics that cut to the heart of the issues, combined with the pounding rythm of rock music, give these songs a fresh take on the modern musical. If you've ever sat on a therapist's couch, "My Psychopharmacologist and I" will ring true. At some time in our lives, we all stand at the edge of the abyss; these songs explore what happens when someone you love has fallen over it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Love it!

    Immediately after receiving this cd, I fell in love with a few songs, and listened to them on repeat. I soon ventured out to other songs, and once again fell in love. The moment I got the cd I knew i HAD to see the show. Luckily I was able to, and saw the OBC (minus Aaron) and it was fantastic. The lyrics are so moving and the story is incredible. One of my favorite shows I've ever seen. The soundtrack is incredible, and i LOVE the lyrics. A definite cd to own, it even won the Tony for best score. The story is touching and after seeing the show, the lyrics are heart wrenching and so relatable.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome Original Broadway Cast Recording

    Sounds just like you are hearing the show in person!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Next to Perfect

    If you have any question as to why this won the tony for best score this is a great example! The singing is amazing the orchestrations are beautiful! I think this is pretty close to having one of the best scores ever written!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful soundtrack.

    Absolutely love the music from this show. I got it on iTunes and then loved it so much I bought this cd for my mom. Oddly, when I saw the show I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected. First time I've liked the music better than the show itself!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Love it!

    The next best thing to RENT!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A MUST HAVE

    Haven't seen the show yet, but this recording makes you feel like you have. Fully deserves it's Tony for Best Score. Was hooked after the first listening.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Recommended!

    Best original show in years!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Next to Normal

    I saw the Broadway show; it has been a very long time since I wanted to buy a score from a musical, but this music stayed in my head long after the show was over. I couldn't wait to buy the disc and start playing it; I listen to it every day and love it more and more.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Must Have for Theater Lover's

    If you like ORIGINAL musicals, then this is the CD for you. It is so nice to have a show that is not based on a movie or that is nothing more than a glorified revue (i.e. Jersey Boys) with no originality at all. Who says that Broadway is dead!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing!

    This Tony Award-winning score, featuring the voices of Alice Ripley, J. Robert Spencer, and more is a must-have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2009

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews