Monday, February 11, 2013

New Soundtrack: Bombshell

Bombshell? you may be wondering. What's Bombshell? Well, Bombshell is the musical that was produced last season on the TV series "Smash" -- and what with so many songs, all of them composer by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, it seemed (to me) a natural for there to be an actual cast recording. I'm thrilled someone else thought so, too. •• This 22-song CD contains the entire Bombshell score as recorded for the TV series. While having it is terrific, I wish it had been a bit more than just the TV recordings: an actual cast recording of the show, not just the tracks already released on the "Smash" CD last year. But no matter, really, because in addition to last season's songs, there are plenty of new ones from this season, which has only just started airing. •• Stars Katherine McPhee and Megan Hilty do an outstanding job here, each bringing her own shade of characterization to Marilyn Monroe, the subject of the musical. The songs track of her life in Hollywood, her marriage to Joe DiMaggio, and her eventual death. They're truly spectacular, from the power-ballad yearning of "Let Me be Your Star" to the playfulness of "The 20th Century Fox Mambo," from the sexy come-ons of "I Never Met a Wolf Who Didn't Love to Howl" to the soaring finale, "Don't Forget Me," which echoes "Let Me be Your Star" and brings the score full circle. •• Regarding "Never Met a Wolf," I'd have chosen the version performed by McPhee, since it actually appears in the musical; the one here has appeared elsewhere and the other would have provided a compelling reason to buy this CD (it's also just plain better). But that's a minor beef. •• There's so much talent on display here, so much passion for the musical, so much songwriting and performing brilliance, that I keep wondering: Since the whole musical is written, how long will it be before Bombshell becomes what it really should be: an actual Broadway musical? See you there!

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