With thirty minutes of dialogue, much of which is taken from songs that were cut, the movie soundtrack for "Rent" has less songs (28) that the cast album (43). I have been listening to the soundtrack pretty much nonstop since I saw the movie, playing it back to back with the cast album a couple of times. I am as stunned as others that all things considered I like this soundtrack album better, even if that means giving up on the voice mails from Mark's mom. Director Chris Columbus ended up casting six of the original eight stars of "Rent" for his movie version, and one thing this album has going for it is that they have brought a decade's worth of experiencing signing these songs plus to this recording. This point is exemplified by Jesse L. Martin as Tom Collins, whose "Santa Fe" and "Ill Cover You (Reprise)" evince considerably more emotional and vocal depth: flat out, the man puts his younger self to shame. A similar argument can be made for Wilson Jermaine Heredia as Angel Dumott Schunard and Anthony Rapp as Mark Cohen as you pay attention the different nuances they bring to songs like "Today 4 U" and "Halloween," respectively. The same thing applies to the duets, such as Martin and Heredia on "I'll Cover You." Taye Diggs as Benjamin Coffin III really does not have that many vocal moments to shine, but what there is sounds better than before. The two newcomers to the show add something to the mix as well. Tracie Thoms as Joanne Jefferson ("Tango: Maureen") brings a power in the high range that we did not hear before, and I found Rosario Dawson as Mimi Marquez ("Light My Candle") to be a lot better than I expected. One of the vocal highpoints of this soundtrack in during "Goodbye Love" when Thoms and Dawson blend their voices and power through the lines, "I'd be happy to die for a taste of what Angel had, someone to live for, unafraid to say I love you." I would also swear that their set up makes Adam Pascal as Roger Davis respond in kind. There is a complaint to be made that the soundtrack has a studio recording of "Over the Moon" by Idina Menzel as Maureen Johnson, versus the live track she recorded during the film. But then that was always the one song that would suffer from being performed in a studio. As long as I am being heretical I will admit that I really like the way "Finale B" is played straight for the emotional impact of Mimi's revival instead of the mock deus ex machina that we find in the cast album. Again, I realize that those who have seen the musical can hold the exact opposite position and I fully appreciate that seeing the show live results in an entirely different calculus for rendering judgments. Finally, while all honor and glory deservedly goes to composer & lyricist Jonathan Larson, Columbus gets props for brining in producer Rob Cavallo on this album. Probably best known for his work with Green Day on "Dookie," "Insomina," and "American Idiot," Cavallo takes full advantage of being able to do whatever he wants with instruments to really punch up the music. If you want you can try and decide whether the music has improved as much as the singing or the other way around, but I will leave that to others and will just starting at the beginning and listen to the soundtrack one or two or three more times (before dinner).
This and any other RENT soundtrack are all must haves! The cast vocals and arrangements are totally mind blowing. Idina Menzel's proformance in this is breath taking and is a must have for any fan of the musical WICKED also!
RENT is a ground braking film and tackles the HIV/AIDS epidemic head on, whist showing the true meaning of love and friendship!
first the merchant. considering where this product was delivered from (across the atlantic). I guess a few more days was understandable. the time that this cd made it to my mailbox was ok.
the product. really felt like the 90's even though the movie was made in 2003? i may be wrong. still worth the price. go get it and just belt out "seasons of love" over and over again like i do in my car.
I truly don't agree with the people who say Rosario Dawson sucks in Rent. I beliee she portrayed a very convincing Mimi, and her singing was quite good too. Truly, both Idina Menzel and Tracie Thoms top her, but that's because they're real godesses, but I really think Rosario did a great job.
This said, let's go to the important stuff. This soundtrack will change your life. It changed mine the first time I watched the film. Rent, the musical, has changed my life for better. It is hard to select just a few songs which could be deemed as "the best", but let's try: Seasons of love. Take me or leave me. One song glory. Another day. Tango: Maureen. La Vie Bohème. I'll cover you (reprise). What you own. Will I. Rent. Out tonight. Goodbye love. Jesus! I mentioned almost all of them. That's because these songs are so amazing, and moving, and eternal. They are LIFE itself. Life made music. Just stop reading this review and start listening to Rent. You won't regret it. Thanks Rosario, Idina, Tracie and of course the wonderful and super talented Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal (what a voice!), Jesse L. Martin (what a voice too!), Taye Diggs and Wilson Jermaine Heredia. And most of all, thank you, Jonathan Larson.
I love Rent. The first time I watched it, I immediately bought it online (it was a rental.) The soundtrack is amazing, and I'm so happy that Halloween and the full Goodbye Love are both on here as well.