From the opening lines of the first song of this bubbly musical, "Omigod You Guys," Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin make it clear that Legally Blonde: The Musical is not the next An Inconvenient Truth. Rather, the two composers, thanks to the aid of the performers, opted to create the most accessible flexible songbook in a long time for a new musical. Following the same vein of the movie of the same name that inspired the transition to Broadway, Legally Blonde allows for many vibrant, upbeat numbers that are complemented by a handful of ballads and heavy tracks. The album is carried in its entirety by Laura Bell Bundy, whose portrayal of main character Elle Woods, even on CD, displays buckets of personality and character through her pop voice and light nature. Her booming voice sails over the tracks that elevate her to stardom. The supporting cast, which consists mostly of newcomers Christian Borle, Orfeh, and others, brings awkward charm and supple tones to the cast recording, which thanks to the inclusion of dialogue during vamps, allows for the characters to seamlessly make the transition from stage to disc. From start to finish, inspirational uplifting pop theatrics force the listener to hum along. The sound borrows elements from musicals such as The Wedding Singer and A Chorus Line, and allows for many soaring numbers of the sort that one might find in Wicked or Hairspray, which is where Bundy got her jump-start to fame portraying the roles of Glinda and Amber Von Tussle, respectively. Tracks like "What You Want," "Chip on My Shoulder," and "So Much Better" are show-stopping cast numbers that will make even the most casual listener clap along and smile. Numbers like "Ireland," a solo effort by the zany gawky Orfeh, is a hilarious power tune that epitomizes the tone on the album -- lighthearted fun music, buoyed by lyrics of hilarity even when brought into more serious territory. The album wraps up with the show-stopping numbers "Legally Blonde Remix" and "Find My Way," which boast big voices (especially those of Kate Shindle and Orfeh), aggressively catchy tunes, and the ability to paint the picture that you are sitting in the front row watching the magic for yourself, something that few cast albums are able to do these days. Overall, listening to the album several times is an experience akin to witnessing the stage production first-hand, cutting no pink sugary corners away. The musical and the cast recording really do make it clear that "blondes have more fun."
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AllMusic Review by Matthew Chisling
|Legally Blonde, musical play|