Lin-Manuel Miranda
Hamilton - Original Broadway Cast


3.0
good

Review

by vult USER (2 Reviews)
August 15th, 2020 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Who lives, who dies, who tells our story?

Since the inclusion of the Broadway musical on Disney+ streaming services, “Hamilton”, playwritten by Lin-Manuel Miranda, has seen a surge in popularity due to the expanded audience that they were able to achieve by putting a recording on a streaming platform. As one of the most popular Broadway musicals in the past decade, it was difficult to obtain tickets to see this performed live, despite the original cast not having taken part in years. Because of this, Hamilton is able to tell its story to wider and more diverse audiences, mirroring one of the ideals within the musical of “telling their story”.

Hamilton is not your typical musical – subtract the gitchy, campy musicals and dance numbers and insert a more modern taste to accompany history. Hip-hop, rap, RnB and soul music are all utilized throughout the almost three-hour runtime, developing a story of a young Alexander Hamilton and his mission to become a founder at the time of the American Revolution and the birth of the nation. In parallel to this, it also depicts the political and personal journeys of Aaron Burr, most commonly known to Americans as the man who killed Hamilton in a duel, cutting the life short of one of the country's most important figures. Additionally, the stories of Hamilton's wife and her family, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and more are painted in a way they have never been before, through rhyme scheme, flow, and use of a diverse cast, including Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr and Daveed Diggs as Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson(also known for his work in the experimental rap group clipping.)

Despite the historical inaccuracies that occur throughout the story of Hamilton's conquest to the top, which minimally detract from the quality of the story, the overall construction of the musical is engaging and thoughtful. Throughout the entirety of the musical, themes are applied to characters and figures within the storyline, and these themes are consistently called upon when these characters appear during the story, molding and conforming to the current events happening on stage. Acts 1 and 2, which split the album in half, distinguish themselves as the rise and fall of Hamilton, including repeated actors in different rolls, including the aforementioned Diggs and Okieriete Onaodowan as James Madison (5th president of the US) and Hercules Mulligan, a depicted colonial spy within the British government who helped in the success of the revolution. The first half of this includes songs of glory and freedom among engineers of a free land, while the second half depicts the political and personal downfall of a famed politician in the first political sex scandal in US history.

Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, sister to Hamilton's wife Elizabeth Schuyler, truly shines in her role throughout this musical, particularly in songs like “Schuyler Sisters” and “Satisfied”. Whether you are watching the stream or just listening to the CD, she displays incredible range, stylistic talent, and attitude. Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr) was effortlessly effective in songs like “Wait for It” and “Dear Theodosia”. The interludes throughout the length of this also provide a nice reprieve from the main story, including appearances from the King of England, played by Jonathan Groff of “Mindhunter” fame.

Overall, I believe that this “album”/musical should be consumed along with the visual context that it was made to go alongside. While certain tracks on this stand out and are able to support themselves outside of the narrative and separate from the musical, this deserves a try from anyone remotely interested in watching it. While the story itself might include embelishments of the past, it is a depiction of the past that is refreshing and not the same, whitewashed story that has been fed to children and Americans for years.

Recommended Tracks: Schuyler Sisters, Wait for It, Ten Duel Commandments, Guns and Ships, One Last Time


user ratings (82)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2020


57430 Comments


epic rap battles of history

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Asdfp277
August 15th 2020


23002 Comments


lmm-biting-lip.jpeg

Kompys2000
August 15th 2020


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This shit is mad fuckin corny

Digging: Yellow Swans - At All Ends

Lord(e)Po)))ts
August 15th 2020


60529 Comments


Pretty much all I've actually seen of this dude is his role in curb your enthusiasm in which I want to murder him

Digging: Oklou - Galore

Kompys2000
August 15th 2020


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Lin is bitch-made beyond normal human capabilities its wild

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2020


3467 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Even Daveed sounds no good on this. :[

kalkwiese
August 15th 2020


6161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Always enjoyed this, when a friend put it on. I should listen to this, thanks for the reminder

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic

Sinternet
August 15th 2020


23207 Comments


i didn't mind this until i moved back with my family for the summer and it's all my sisters listen to at all hours of the day

Digging: Holy Fawn - Death Spells

vult
August 15th 2020


290 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

LMM is def the corniest/weakest on here. Angelica Schuyler (Renée Elise Goldsberry) is fire though, incredibly talented.

Kompys2000
August 15th 2020


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah iirc her stuff was among the stronger material here

TVC15
August 15th 2020


10663 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Modern classic

Digging: Nature and Organisation - Beauty Reaps the Blood of Solitude

rockarollacola
August 16th 2020


411 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

DUH DUH-DUH-DUH DUH eeeeeEEEEEeee

PumpBoffBag
August 16th 2020


971 Comments


Kinda enjoy this. Lin Manuel on Curb is fucking sublime

Masochist
August 16th 2020


8958 Comments


Well-written review, though I'm not sure if you justified the 3 enough. You gave nothing but positives outside of slight historical inaccuracies. What stops it from being a 3.5 or a 4, then?

Also, Lin-Manuel himself is definitely the weakest part of the project...but he also wrote the thing, so ahh well. Renée, Phillipa, and Leslie Odom Jr. knock this shit out the park, though.

south_of_heaven 11
August 17th 2020


5561 Comments


I’d listen to King George over and over but that’s about it.

Also my opinion on this type of music should not be trusted so there’s that too.

vult
August 17th 2020


290 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

@Masochist I realized that after posting it but I also wrote this review very late at night and at a certain point I kind of coasted through the end. If I were to add things that detract from it they’d be:



- 2nd half being clearly worse than the first

- LMM’s poor performance through 2/3 of the runtime

- “Say No to This” being really out of place stylistically and not being a good song

- Historical inaccuracies

- Use of character who played John Laurens (adult) to play Phillip Hamilton (a 9 year old child). Awkward.

vult
August 17th 2020


290 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

But Angelica, Burr, Eliza and Washington absolutely kill it. Was also disappointed with the way they used Daveed Diggs because he is capable of so much more.

TheSupernatural
August 18th 2020


2139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I hate a lot of the politics and general theme of Hamilton as founding father worship, but as a musical it still works well. Miranda is honestly the weakest part of the cast for me, his voice is just grating.

kalkwiese
October 18th 2020


6161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really good musical

HalfManHalfAmazing
October 18th 2020


2486 Comments


feds vs anti-feds.

who y'all got?

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