A few weeks ago my wife told me about a new Broadway musical that was taking the world by storm. Minutes later I began listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on Spotify. Why not give it a whirl? After all, I’ve been known to enjoy a good musical in my day (Newsies, Wicked, and Fiddler on the Roof to name a few gems).
Never before, however, had I considered listening to a musical without actually seeing the play first, but Hamilton’s music quality was so good that I became hooked after the first song. I listened to the 2-hour and 30-minute play straight through from start to finish without stopping to eat, think, or breath. Then, as weeks progressed, I listened to it again, and again. After the fifth time through, I pretty much know the songs by heart now.
The soundtrack is packed with talented instrumentals, genius lyrics, incredible vocals, and a compelling storyline about one of our very own Founding Fathers. Sure, I may not have agreed with Alexander Hamilton’s politics or lifestyle at the time, but that is mostly irrelevant in the celebration of his life in a historical context.
In the last few months, that musical celebration has been in full form. Hamilton has won eleven Tony Awards (including Best Musical), The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and a number of other prestigious awards. It is being recognized through social media, media, and socialization. In addition, the live play is selling out fast, and ticket prices are, at a minimum, around $1,200 per seat (from my brief search online).
The soundtrack is worth listening to, no matter your taste in theater or music. I recommend downloading it on iTunes or listening to it on a music service provider (such as Spotify) immediately. If you don’t have access to listen to it in its entirety, I’ve included a few teasers here:
- The play has taken the world by surprise so much so that President Obama recently welcomed the cast into the White House to perform one of the tracks. Watch the video of Obama’s introduction or fast forward to 9:00 for the performance. Hamilton cast performs “Alexander Hamilton” at White House
- For the original rap and the supposed inception of the musical that President Obama references in the White House Video above, watch Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam: (8 of 8)
- Finally, another sample from the performance at the 70th Annual Tony Awards:
In summary: do yourself and your ears a favor, and listen to this musical treat – Hamilton.
“I’m past patiently waitin’. I’m passionately smashin’ every expectation. Every action’s an act of creation! I’m laughin’ in the face of casualties and sorrow. For the first time, I’m thinkin’ past tomorrow”
– Alexander Hamilton, My Shot
(Disclaimer: the album has some “adult language”)