‘Showman: Reimagined’ packs a musical punch
“The Greatest Showman” exploded in December of 2017 when it hit theaters. With original music written by “Dear Evan Hansen” composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the movie was a musical spectacle based on the story of P.T. Barnum – founder of the Barnum and Bailey circus. The film’s music has recently been revamped with the release of “The Greatest Showman: Reimagined” on Friday, Nov. 16.
The album, similar to the movie, starts off with a bang with “The Greatest Show,” performed by Panic! At the Disco (PATD). The drama of this song is the perfect fit for lead singer Brendon Urie’s vocals and the theatrics of the band.
The next two tracks are P!nk followed by her daughter, Willow Sage Hart, singing “A Million Dreams” and a reprise of the same title. A video of the two performing the song went viral, with almost 12 million views on YouTube since it was posted on Wednesday, Oct. 24. P!nk’s powerful voice shines in this song, and it’s clear that the 7-year-old Hart inherited her mother’s talent.
“Come Alive,” from Year & Years and Jess Glynne, really does bring some life to the album, matching the energy of the original song from the film. Next up are MAX and Ty Dolla $ign covering “The Other Side.” This does a good job of imitating the banter of Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron’s characters in the original song and is a better production than what may have been expected.
The power ballad of the movie, “Never Enough,” is reimagined by one of the queens of power ballads herself, Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson takes on this track with vocals sure to give listeners the chills and leave them wanting more of her incredible performance.
“This Is Me” is next, with Keala Settle, Kesha and Missy Elliot. The last track on the album is Kesha singing this track alone. Both tracks don’t quite seem necessary on the album, and though both are good, Kesha’s solo performance is the stronger of the two.
“Rewrite the Stars,” the love song performed in the movie by Efron and Zendaya, is covered by James Arthur, the singer of “Say You Won’t Let Go,” and Anne-Marie, an artist that recently came out with the hit “2002.” Both voices blend perfectly together to make this a beautiful cover of the song.
Next up is “Tightrope,” covered by Sara Bareilles. Having written and starred in “Waitress” and starring alongside John Legend in this year’s NBC production of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Bareilles is no stranger to musicals. She lends her talent and experience to this song and her slowed-down version creates an all-new experience for listeners.
Zac Brown Band, perhaps an unexpected group to be featured on this album, covers “From Now On.” The banjo from the original song is highlighted more in this rendition, as well as the addition of a fiddle, making the song seem meant for a country artist.
Two bonus tracks are of two songs already recorded on the album. “The Greatest Show” is performed again by Pentatonix, which is well-performed; however, PATD’s theatric production is more suited for the overall feel of the song. The second bonus track on the album, “Come Alive,” by Craig David, is another case of a good, but not quite memorable song.
Individually, each song is, for the most part, quite good. Is it better than the original soundtrack? No, but as integrating pop artists into the musical theater world is seemingly becoming an ever-growing trend – with similar attempts such as NBC’s television musicals and the 2016 “Hamilton Mixtape” – “The Greatest Showman: Reimagined” overall does a fine job compared to its counterparts.