RENT [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

RENT [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

4.5 53
by Jonathan Larson

Jonathan Larson's hit rock musical Rent is about marginalized members of society: homosexuals, people of color, artists, and other folks who, for whatever reason, just don't fit in, and who eventually learn to cherish their individuality within the warm embrace of their families of choice. Director Chris Columbus (the first two See more details below


Jonathan Larson's hit rock musical Rent is about marginalized members of society: homosexuals, people of color, artists, and other folks who, for whatever reason, just don't fit in, and who eventually learn to cherish their individuality within the warm embrace of their families of choice. Director Chris Columbus (the first two Harry Potter films) opens his major motion picture vision of the musical with the exhilarating, life-affirming backdrop of Manhattan's artsy Lower East Side, giving the sonorous voices of the film's stars -- including original Broadway cast members Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order), Taye Diggs (How Stella Got Her Groove Back), and Wicked star Idina Menzel (who is coincidentally married to Diggs), as well as screen siren Rosario Dawson, in her musical debut -- even more room to charm the listener. Larson's melodic, sentimental songs -- notably the goose-bump-inducing "Seasons of Love," featuring newcomer Tracie Thoms -- are gorgeously realized by producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls), and this disc is a must-have for all Rentheads, as well as the perfect gift for romantics with a penchant for la vie bohème.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
In their transfers from stage to screen, Broadway musicals usually suffer from extensive cast changes and sometimes from major alterations in their scores. Rent, the rock-oriented update of La Vie Boheme with book, music, and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, was taken to film by director Chris Columbus with much of the cast and all of the score intact. The only caveat may be time; the show opened in 1996, the film in 2005, and that means, for instance, that when Roger (Adam Pascal) guesses that Mimi (Rosario Dawson) is 16 years old and she admits to being 19 in the song "Light My Candle," it's not quite believable. But that's a problem only onscreen, not on the soundtrack album. Arranger and album producer Rob Cavallo has been faithful to Larson's writing, so here the real question is how the new recording measures up to the original Broadway cast album. In his liner notes, Columbus makes a case for the new one by stating, "This time around, the songs were recorded over several months, with much time and care." He is referring to the tendency to record Broadway shows in a rush, shortly after opening, usually in a single day, in fact, with only as much care as can be achieved in that time. Of course, it's also true that a cast fresh from the theater has an immediacy that's hard to reproduce nearly a decade (and hundreds of performances) later. The veteran cast members do a good job here, with Pascal, Dawson, Anthony Rapp, and Idina Menzel in particular working hard to re-create the passion that infused their initial performances. Still, this version takes a close second to the first one. (One extra song has been added at the end, the excellent "Love Heals," which Larson wrote for an AIDS benefit, not for the show.)

Product Details

Release Date:
Warner Bros / Wea

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jonathan Larson   Primary Artist
Paul Bushnell   Bass,Bass Guitar
Greg Curtis   Organ
Aaron Lohr   Vocals
Jamie Muhoberac   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Tim Pierce   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Suzie Katayama   Accordion,Cello
Tim Weil   Piano
Taye Diggs   Vocals
Wilson Jermaine Heredia   Vocals
Anthony Rapp   Vocals
Gregory Curtis   Organ
Greg Suran   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Idina Menzel   Vocals
Dorian Crozier   Percussion,Drums
Jesse L. Martin   Vocals
Adam Pascal   Vocals
Rosario Dawson   Vocals
Tracie Thoms   Vocals
Wayne Wilcox   Vocals
Tim Davis   Vocals

Technical Credits

David Campbell   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,Choir Arrangement
Doug McKean   Engineer
Rob Cavallo   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Tim Weil   Arranger,Vocal Conductor
Dann Thompson   Engineer
Dorian Crozier   Programming
Jonathan Larson   Composer,Lyricist,Book
Elan Trujillo   Engineer
Brian Cometa   Engineer
Chris Columbus   Liner Notes,Soundtrack Executive Producer

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Rent [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SEH221 More than 1 year ago
The music in this CD is amazing. I love the music of Rent and I recommend it to a mature audience, but anyone who love musicals and just a good story. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's not as great as the original Broadway cast but it is still amazing! I recommend it to anyone who is a "Renthead."
Guest More than 1 year ago
It just isn't as good as the original soundtrack. For some reason what made the original powerful and raw is just not there on this album. I have seen the show multiple times and I have the sountrack memorized and this just doens't cut it for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rosario Dawson is no Daphne Rubin-Vega. I believe that is the reason this soundtrack carries less punch than the Original. Not to mention the missing Contact and the voice mails a wonderful touch of humor. Idina Menzel is brilliant as always, and I believe may be better on this than the orig. simply because she has grown as a performer. While I look forward to the film, I know enough not to expect the stage production even with the majority of the OBC assembled. It's a distinctly different medium and I think some of the scenes may have more depth simply beacuse they can be rendered from many more angles I also think the loss of Contact can lessen the overall impact of the play. I still don't understand why it was cut probably didn't want to offend the folks in the middle of the country. As for the Soundtrack, it's okay, but if you're expecting the power of the Original stick with Original, that's why it's called the Original.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's just not the same. The recordings on this soundtrack are very good, but there needs to be more. So much from the Original Broadway Cast Recording is missing, though there's plenty of room. It's still Rent, and it still says "No Day But Today!"
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wanted the original broadway cast, but my mom ended up buying this instead. However, although it doesn't hold up to the original, it is quite impressive in its own right. Rosario Dawson's voice is amazing! I think it's good to own both this and the original, but if you're only going for one, get the original.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love the original RENT soundtrack, and was disappointed that the vocalists went out of their way to sing the songs differently than they originally had, when the original soundtrack left little to be improved upon. The resulting sound, while still enjoyable, can, at times, sound slightly like an amateur experimenting with different rhythms, and while you can't really accuse the newcomers (non-OBC) of being "affected" in their singing, they try much too hard to carve their own way and be different. If you're only going to buy one CD, buy the OBC CD, but this is still a decent recording.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of course, thsi is not the original cast. Nothing is better than that. I'd like to comment on one of the reviewers below who said "it's just not the same." Well, of course it's not! this is almost 10 years later! We can't expect it to be the same. Daphne is too old (and pregnant) to play Mimi anymore. She no longer "looks like she is 16". Fredi, too, is too old. This album is AMAZING. yes, not all songs from teh OBC are on it, but so much effort was put into this album, and it just couldn't be better. (The movie would simply be too long if they kept all the voicemails and tuneups)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok, this is more of a comment towards the other commenters. This isnt the OBC. Obviously, these wonderful people arent going to sing everything the same because it has been how many years since the original recording? You cant judge any of the new in comparison to the old, so stop trying. Its just personal preference, and neither of them suck or whatnot. Theyre all amazing. Now, on to the real review! I love this soundtrack. Dare i say that i love it more then the OBC? I think I do dare... Granted i miss angel's part in "you'll see" but all in all, ive grown fond of the less bitter and angry roger, and the new mature sounding mimi. Musically it is fantastic, each song has so much more depth and emotion now, and its definitely going to be more appealing to a newer/younger generation of Rentheads :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I dont know if anyone here actually has seen the Broadway show, or knows what it is to be in a musical, but you rarely ever sing the show exactly the same everytime. And also, there were changes made to the show after the OBC recording. These changes are reflected in this recording. This is a film, not a stage version of Rent. The two are totally different and will sound different. And in my own humble opinion Rosario Dawson is so much better than Daphine Rubin-Vega. I actually hated "Out Tonight" till I saw it on Broadway and saw someone else sing it. I am not a Rubin-Vega fan. I thought that she was the weak link in the OBC. This recording has alot of power and passion, just like the OBC recording. That recording was theatre, and this recording is film, that is your difference.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay!! Let me say I was happy to hear that most of the orginal cast of rent was coming back for the movie. I was dissapointed to find out that Rosario Dawson was going to play the part of Mimi. I really wanted Daphne Vega to repise her role. Rosario Dawson cannot register the High notes like she can. I dont think anyone can. But I would just get the soundtrack to hear the other orginal cast members. They all sound incredible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The soundtrack of "Rent" is wonderful. I reccommend it to everyone. Although I have never had much experience with the OBC, this recording is fabulous. I love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure that the other reviewer's listened to the same album I did. Sure the Original Broadway Soundtrack is great, but this is too! This recording is just as powerful and moving. No one should expect a 100% match to the original cast album, heck, it's been a few years. Some of the changes are improvements to the original. Although I was skeptical of Rosario Dawson at first, she immediately won me over. This album is a perfect 10. I can't wait for the movie to be released.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say after seeing the movie last night and listening to the soundtrack, I tend to favor the new cast recording a little better than the original. While I am sad at the abscence of Daphne Rubin-Vega from this soundtrack, I was glad that there was more music and less filler. The removal of "Contact" hepled me to appreciate the story more. I have seen the stage version twice-once on Broadway and plan to see the mvie a few more times! If anyone has not seen either the movie or the play- see both you won't regret it! There's No Day But Today!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i never thought i would like rent but i was so wrong! i love everything about the movie and the soundtrack!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My sister and I went to see the movie as soon as it came out. The music was great and we had to get the CD as soon as possible! Cd is great and the performances couldnt have been better...hope everyone has a chance to own such a wonderfu Cd...its a masterpiece!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album deffinetly brings a new light to the musical Rent! This album does bring new musical sounds to the songs, however I believe this album brings more acting within the songs than the original. Keep in mind that when the original cast had begun they were still piecing things together due to dear Larson's death without finishing the story. By now the story has been developed and will be different in some way. I would definetly recommend this CD to everyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alright I will say it is not as good as the obc but it is still very close. One thing I like better is Rosario Dawson(Mimi) and Traci Thoms (Joanne). Rosario's voice much more on key and sounds way more like a club dancer would sound. Traci sounds and looks much more the the part of a lawer. The part I did not like was Rodger he tried to hard to sound different from his original part. He sounded just fine in the OBC he should have stayed the same. Every one else sounds just fine particuraly Mark and Maureen. I did love this CD and would recomend to any one who liked the OBC. favorite songs: Seasons of love A & B, Rent, You'll see, Today 4 U, Llight my candles, Tango: maureen, Out Tonight, Another day, over the moon, La vie Boheme A & B, Take me or leave me, and What you own
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a "Rent Head", I expected some big improvements on the stellar Original Broadway Cast Album. Some of it succeeds (Rosario Dawson is a HUGE improvement over Daphne Rubin-Vega), but most of it lacks the urgency and energy of the OBCA. It's still an enjoyable listen, however, and there are several standouts, including Dawson's take on "Out Tonight". But I was totally blown away by Tracie Thoms! I only previously knew her as a funny comedian and the hilarious sidekick on "Wonderfalls", but I now know her as a phenomenal vocalist. Speaking of phenomenal, Idina Menzel is as amazing as ever (although I had to wonder if the producers asked her pull back a bit on "Over the Moon" as it is not as exciting as on the OBCA). The duet between Menzel and Thoms ("Take Me or Leave Me") is a definite showstopper.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of course it's slightly different than the Broadway version, but it's fantastic. The music seems more current..fuller. I like having 2 versions of the same musical to choose from. And I think, 10 years later, you can hear the maturity and confidence in the performances of those cast members reprising their roles - in particular, Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel, Jesse L. Martin and Adam Pascal. Again...LOVE IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although a fan of the original recording, I found this soundtrack to be immensely moving. I highly reccomend that anyone who appreciates the music of Jonathan Larson take a listen to this version. While some songs from Broadway-Rent were excluded from the movie and this soundtrack, interestingly enough, songs not featured in the movie are on this cd. "Halloween" and "Goodbye Love," sung by the movie's cast, do not appear on-screen. Possibly those scenes will appear in the Rent DVD extras? Make sure to include this soundtrack in your holiday shopping this year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While many people are very used to the Original Broadway Cast, and even partial to it, I feel that this album is better. All of the vocalists have improved a great deal, except Anthony Rapp who is still as good and lovable as ever. The new Joanne and Mimi are fantastic, much better then the original ones. The artists also didn't get stuck into their old habits, but took the liberty to change things. There are new harmonies that make the ears tingle, especially the ones between Adam Pascal and Rosario Dawson. The Limited edition CD covers also make them quite enjoyable to collect. My friends and I are trying to hunt down all of them, although we're having quite a hard time finding Mark and Roger.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked it alot. its not the same as the original, but then neither is the movie - its supposed to be a little different. a worthy choice :)