Listening to the recently released soundtrack to “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” was a bit like my first kiss. I was excited, ready for it to be amazing, and when it was over, I realized that honestly, it was not anywhere near as good as I expected.
For one thing, it was too short. Clocking in a mere 27 minutes, 31 seconds it’s the shortest soundtrack I’ve ever listened to. In it’s defense, the Broadway show is only 90 minutes long, rather short compared to older rock operas, which usually clock in between 120 and 180 minutes with a one to two plus hour soundtrack.
Billed as an “emo rock opera,” “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” tells a satirical story of Andrew Jackson, the sixth president of the United States and his tumultuous life, from the death of most of his family early in life, to his election, his dealings with other politicians and with native americans. The musical’s songs find humor in some non humorous topics such as syphilis, cholera, slavery, populism and the death of native Americans. Benjamin Walker, who sings as Andrew Jackson turned down a part in X-Men to move with the show to Broadway.
Part of the problem with the soundtrack may be the hype surrounding the show. It has been praised by everyone from Rolling Stone magazine to Neil Patrick Harris. It has been called “the best original musical of the theatre season.”
The songs also struggle to stand on their own out of context of the show. There’s no song that’s commercially viable like “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In” from “Hair” or a novelty like “The Internet Is For Porn” from “Avenue Q.” Having not seen the show myself, the CD though entertaining, has no real meaning.
Unless you are a broadway fanatic like myself or a history nerd, the cd might not be for you. Sure, it’s got some good lyrics and jokes, but it’s not worth the $9.99 i paid on iTunes.