Tarzan: The Broadway Musical
Walt Disney Records (61541-7)
Release Date: 2006
|2.||You'll Be In My Heart||3:10|
|3.||Who Better Than Me?||1:51|
|4.||No Other Way||3:39|
|5.||I Need To Know||2:13|
|6.||Son of Man||2:46|
|7.||Sure As Sun Turns to Moon||2:54|
|8.||Waiting For This Moment||3:56|
|10.||Trashin' The Camp||2:40|
|11.||Like No Man I've Ever Seen||2:41|
|12.||Strangers Like Me||3:46|
|13.||For The First Time||4:12|
|14.||Who Better Than Me (Reprise)||2:04|
|15.||Everything That I Am||4:44|
|16.||You'll Be In My Heart (Reprise)||2:18|
|17.||Sure As Sun Turns To Moon (Reprise)||1:45|
|18.||Two Worlds (Finale)||1:18|
|19.||Everything That I Am (bonus)||3:58|
|Total Album Time:||58:02|
|by Mike Brennan
on July 24th, 2006
Unfortunately for Disney, their newest animated-feature-to-Broadway adaptation does not seem to be doing very well. Hoping for more sales in August, the play is still going on, but for how much longer remains to be seen. For Tarzan: The Broadway Musical, Phil Collins wrote a set of new songs to add to his previous ones from 1999's Tarzan, this time without composer Mark Mancina, who also worked with him on Brother Bear.
I have to say that Tarzan seems to be an odd choice to have made into a musical for Disney, merely because of the musical structure of the film. Phil Collins provided vocals in the film, which were not performed by a character, but merely his own voice as an invisible narrator. For the musical, all of these songs ("Two Worlds", "Son of Man", "Strangers Like Me", etc.) had to be given to a combination of characters to sing, but this changes the context of the lyrics.
The album opens with "Two Worlds" performed by Josh Strickland in the role of Tarzan. This song covers the flashback to the character's birth and loss of his parents. It is strange to have Tarzan himself singing the song. This aside, the song uses a full orchestra and impressive percussion to underscore Strickland's powerful voice. With the new songs that Collins wrote for this musical, some take the place of dialogue in the film, and it stands out because some of the lyrics don't work very well. A prime example of this is "Sure as Sun Turns to Moon" between Kala and Kerchak. "Trashin' the Camp" is a song that I found annoying in the film, and it is no better here - though at least 'N Sync is not performing it.
What this musical does benefit from are the vocal performances, especially the two leads, Josh Strickland and Jenn Gambatese. Jane's first performance in "Waiting for this Moment" begins to save the album, but the latter half, following "Trashin'" are where the best songs really are. "Strangers Like Me" is one song from the original film that translates very well to Broadway with Tarzan and Jane taking over for Collins. Their second duet, "For the First Time" is the one that truly showcases their talents, but is soon beat out by Strickland's solo "Everything That I Am", which is easily the highlight of the album. Beginning strong, he is still able to build through a few key changes. Phil Collins' own performance of the song at the end of the album pales in comparison.
Unfortunately, because it is on Broadway, I have to review it in relation to better shows such as Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and even Disney's Beauty and the Beast. But it is decent, especially given the vocal talents involved. I plan on seeing this musical and I recommend the album to fans of Disney's animated Tarzan, even if just for the ways in which the reprisals of the various songs differ from those in the film and showcase an interesting reworking of the material.
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