Thursday, December 15, 2005

Best of the Year in Music ~CD of the Year

Sal and Joe and all the cool kids are posting musical year-in-review entries. So, my turn. Every year when I read countdowns in non-cinematic arts I think "wow, i am really not paying attention --i dont know half this stuff" I guess there's only room for movies in my head. I married the movies. For the most part I'm faithful. But here goes anyway... part 1 of 2.

CD of the Year
You thought I was going to say Madonna's Confessions on a Dancefloor didn't you? I kinda wanted to. I really needed Madonna to go all frothy and beats per minute and Maddy always delivers whatever I need from her in any given year. She is scarily psychic in this one particular way. I also wanted to cite the ever adventurous Missy Elliott's latest, The Cookbook. But both can show up on the next musical list and they're not exactly hurting for "best of" mentions. My enthusiasm for Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine is also well known. But, in truth, I prefer the bootleg to the actual many-year-delayed CD. So I figure ...let's turn to a musical genre that needs the attention.

Whenever naming anything the best of the year you ought to be very serious about it. So for me there wasn't really a question. It had to be the best musical score since The Last Five Years(2002) and arguably the best original score to make it onto Broadway in two decades. I'm talking about Adam Guettel's The Light in the Piazza. It's crazy beautiful. Twenty years from now the next generation of theater queens and starry-eyed M/D/T majors will still be singing its praises. In a very happy turn of events audiences actually liked this one too as did Tony voters (though they pandered with their actual Best Musical award which went to Spamalot! because, well, the Tonys are as mainstream hit happy as the Oscars. No, moreso.) Despite the sad trending on Broadway --all "hit" songbook shows and corny film-to-stage adaptations these days, Piazza was actually successful. Hooray and, well, buy this CD!

Tomorrow... Favorite Singles of the Year

8 comments:

Nick M. said...

Three of the best albums of the year:

Animal Collective, "Feels"
New Pornographers, "Twin cinema"
The Decemberists, "Picaresque"

Kamikaze Camel said...

whoa. i am not kidding when I say I was about to do this exact same thing on my own blog. True.

And... um... good choice?

David Shultz said...

I agree. I really, really do! My fellow theater geeks and I can't get enough, and now having seen the stage show I can firmly say it's the best thing I've seen in years. It's refreshing for those of us who are tired of out-of-this-world, thinly emotional, though fun shows like Wicked, Hairspray, and The Producers.

The title track ranks high among the most beautiful of Broadway songs. When she says, "Tiny sweet, and then it goes, and then it fills the air," I just..die. Oh..SO beautiful...

By the way, thank you for being my inspiration to download it in the first place!

dusty said...

NICE choice! I saw Light in the Piazza this summer, following your recommendation, and I LOVED it. The production values (costumes, sets, lighting) were my favorite, but the music is superb, too. "Dividing Day," especially. Don't know if I'd rank the album over Aimee Mann's "The Forgotten Arm," but it'd be a close competition.

P.S. Wouldn't Piazza make a wonderful movie? (So long as Victoria Clark's role wasn't given to Renée Zellwegger and Chris Columbus promised to keep his hands off...)

the boyfriend said...

Dusty - it actually is a movie (the musical is an adaptation): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056183/

dusty said...

Is the musical based on the movie, though? Or on the novella by Elizabeth Spencer? I thought it was the latter, but I may be wrong.

NATHANIEL R said...

i believe it's based on the novella. but yes that novella was a film as well.

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