Written By: Michelle Doering
Originality: (5 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (5 / 5) Lyrics: (5 / 5) Production: (4 / 5) Average: (4.8 / 5)
Okay. So confession time. I’m kind of a huge nerd.
You probably already knew that, but still.
Anyway, point is, the album I’m reviewing today combines two of my all-time nerdy faves: books, and musicals.
Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief is an off Broadway production based off of Rick Riordan’s book of the same name. You might know it because of the Godawful and terribly adapted movie franchise, but I don’t like to talk about that, so moving on.
Growing up, the Percy Jackson books meant a whole helluva lot to me. They were smart, clever, funny, and very sneakily taught me everything I know about Greek mythology. So just imagine my sheer delight when I found out that the producers of this musical adaptation not only read all the books, but also included tons of little jokes and references and even a handful of direct quotes. It’s literally so faithful I could cry. Praise the Lord, hallelujah!
Now, musically speaking, the soundtrack is a blend of all different styles and genres, but I personally think it sounds like a funnier and smarter, low-budget version of Wicked; and I do mean that as a compliment.
Although some might be remiss to listen to a soundtrack without having seen the play it’s based on, I’m happy to report that each song does a great job of keeping you up to speed. Even if you haven’t read the book or seen the play, or even that awful movie *shudders*, you can still easily follow the plot of story from the music alone. Just, you know, maybe don’t hit shuffle.
Moving into my favorite songs, I’ve gotta give props the the swinging, doo-wop-y hit, “Another Terrible Day.” This song not only sounds amazing, but in it, the God Dionysus introduces himself, Chiron, and the entire concept of Camp Half Blood in under four minutes flat. Not to mention, he even throws in a bunch of random background characters from the books that didn’t really need to be there, but I’m so glad they are. It also might be my ringtone right now (no judging).
I’m also a huge fan of the song “D.O.A.”, in which Persephone sings to our protagonists that they are never leaving the underworld. Stylistically, this one is definitely the most brilliant. First of all, it’s a disco song, because disco is dead (get it?), and second, it constantly switches back and forth between the different styles of various dead recording artists. You got some James Brown, some Beethoven, some Nirvana, it’s great. It never fails to crack me up and it’s decidedly the cheeriest song about death I’ve ever heard.
And the final song I’d like to highlight here is “Lost.” This one perfectly showcases the character dynamics between our main trio as they argue their way through the woods in New Jersey right after blowing up a bus. Just when all hope seems lost, they receive directions in the form of a talking squirrel. It was a poodle in the book, but hey, close enough. Either way, the song is funny, well written, and the vocalists all have perfect timing.
Overall, this a real winner in my book. If you like comedy, mythology, or listening to musical soundtracks in any capacity, I can’t recommend it enough.