Original Broadway Cast

Rent [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

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AllMusic Review by

An optimistic modernization of Puccini's opera La bohème, Jonathan Larson's Rent was revered by the theater community as the revitalizing hope for the Great White Way. While the musical itself is highly acclaimed and lauded, having acquired numerous Tonys and Obies, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for drama, this Dreamworks recording lacks much of what makes the live performances so endearing. The music, an eclectic jumble of pop ballads, gospel, dance, and anthems, holds up well through repeated listens. The lyrics, however, when placed under close scrutiny, rely far too much on clichés, and they have a noticeable sense of incompletion. This could stem from the fact that Jonathan Larson died tragically the evening before the first off-Broadway performance. Mostly, though, what is noticeably missing is the spark of energy provided by the interaction between an exuberant cast and an adoring audience. Still, many of the songs are infectious, and the musical as a whole is very uplifting and hopeful. Particularly noticeable moments in the soundtrack are the songs "Take Me or Leave Me," a powerful duet between the two lesbian lovers (one of the many '90s updates) and "One Song Glory," a solo rock ballad sung by Adam Pascal as the lead character Roger, most likely the strongest song on its own taken out of the context of the play. Rent is also the musical that contains the song "Seasons of Love," which is quickly becoming a standard.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Rent, musical play
1 0:50 Amazon
2 0:36 Amazon
3 1:32 Amazon
4 4:25 Amazon
5 1:41 Amazon
6 0:24 Amazon
7 2:43 Amazon
8 4:05 Amazon
9 0:46 Amazon
10 3:30 Amazon
11 2:57 Amazon
12 3:28 Amazon
13 1:58 Amazon
14 3:48 Amazon
15 4:44 Amazon
16 2:29 Amazon
17 1:32 Amazon
18 3:12
19 2:28 Amazon
20 1:22 Amazon
21 6:04 Amazon
22 5:16 Amazon
23 8:00 Amazon
24 3:00 Amazon
25 1:53 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Rent, musical play
1 2:51
2 3:24 Amazon
3 0:50 Amazon
4 3:56 Amazon
5 3:43 Amazon
6 1:06 Amazon
7 4:21 Amazon
8 0:32 Amazon
9 2:07 Amazon
10 2:50 Amazon
11
feat: Anthony Rapp
1:48 Amazon
12 5:57 Amazon
13 3:56 Amazon
14 0:57 Amazon
15 5:30 Amazon
16
feat: Adam Pascal
2:20 Amazon
17 2:59 Amazon
18 4:26 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick