Fantastic! I love this so much, and if you're looking at this you probably already know how you feel about the music of Hamilton, and you've probably been waiting for this album for a while. It won't disappoint.
I mostly wanted to write this review to help people who, like me, want the unedited version of the songs and also want a physical CD of the music they love. Do NOT click on the "CD" button above in the header - that redirects you to the Clean/Edited version. Instead, go to: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JR0QYGW/ref=dm_ws_bb_ar You can buy the Explicit version of the CD there (and you can download MP3s of the songs immediately after buying it, so you can still listen to them while you wait for the CD to arrive). The link is in an unusual place on the page, and it's not very obvious.
Okay, I'm a Hamilfan. That said, some of these songs are similar to the album version, most are not, and some can legitimately be considered original. The ones which are similar are very nice, but I generally preferred the album versions. But the ones which are different are works unto themselves, strong and powerful. Now--not for everyone. If you come from a hip hop and rap background, you'll probably prefer these to the Broadway cast album. If you come from a Broadway background, these might be strange and even difficult for you. But you should give them a chance! Mixing genres, and introducing people to forms of American music that are not culturally their own, is what Lin-Manuel Miranda is ALL ABOUT!
One of the great stage musicals of recent years has had so many fans among the young and old (it is NOT, as too many who have not yet seen it assumed, just rap music, but a glorious blend of almost every genre of music drawn together to force us to take a fresh look at history we vaguely thought we knew) that it was inevitable that someone would put together a "cover" album of other popular artists doing their own interpretations of the much (and justly) lauded material. I hesitated before springing for the CD just as I used to think long and hard before buying the once more common jazz rendering of current Broadway shows when they were far more frequently done in part because, unlike a majority of the target market, I was really not familiar with a majority of the recording artists (my music purchases are almost exclusively Original Cast Albums for their musical and lyric variety and the depth of interpretations), but as the university students I teach started raving about the "Mix Tape" version I decided I'd better hear it, and I haven't been at all sorry. Nothing will replace the full recording of the original, but this is awfully good.
While I'm going to reach for the soundtrack more often, the mixtape is fabulous, giving another perspective on music and adding to the legend with the pieces that didn't make the final cut for the show. I defy you to listen to "Quiet Uptown" by Kelly Clarkson and not lose it in some way. Likewise, Sia's "Satisfied, featuring Queen Latifa and Miguel rocks my world. Dessa singing the new "Congratulations," is amazing - so sad this one didn't make the show. Angelica had more to say. Usher's version of "Wait For It" deserves to be put on repeat a time or two. Alicia Keys and John Legend pair perfectly with their numbers.
I couldn't wait for the entire album to drop. Finally, it arrived and I had my first listen. It seems like the songs are out of order, but per Lin-Manuel Miranda, it was made that way. He suggests the best listen is from top to bottom, and I agree. My favorite song, which changes daily, is Kelly Clarksons's Quiet Uptown. For someone obsessed with the Hamilton Musical, this is the perfect gift!
I REALLY enjoy most of the songs featured on the Mixtape. Kelly Clarkson's cover of "Quiet Uptown" is heartbreakingly beautiful. "Immigrants" is AMAZING, I really enjoyed Residente's part in the song and reminds me of why I like his music so much. There are a lot of other really moving and powerful songs but one that I REALLY did not like was Jimmy Fallon's poor cover of "You'll Be Back". I thought it was really unnecessary for it to be sung the way he sang it considering how the rest of the Mixtape was done so well. That one song is always skipped because I don't need to listen to that nonsense. It makes me upset that Lin-Manuel Miranda and Questlove seriously thought that Jimmy Fallon's cover was as good as the rest of the songs on the Mixtape. That cover does not live up to the standards of the rest of the songs on the Mixtape. But other than that the Mixtape is marvelous.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is and will always be a genius when it comes to music and The Hamilton Mixtape just proves it again. The artists collected here to deliver a new feel for the Hamilton soundtrack are perfection. From the tears evoked by both Regina Spektor and Chance the Rapper on "Dear Theodosia (Reprise)" and the chills of Busta Rhymes' gritty "Rise up!" on "My Shot" if you loved the musical, you'll love the new interpretation.
This album isn't for everyone, and if what you're expecting is just a bunch of covers of songs from the hit musical, you're going to be disappointed. Many of the songs included are new twists on different pieces of the story, songs that couldn't originally be included for some reason, or thematically-appropriate pieces that add texture and life to history as we know it. The best track by far is "Immigrants", which is an absolute masterpiece - it totally blew me away. Every track is great, though, and it was really interesting to hear so many different styles and voices combined together to create one awesome album - truly a representation of modern America.
Such a great album! I love the songs that were cut from the musical AND songs that were in the musical arranged in a different way. It put a refreshing and creative spin to the already great music that is Hamilton. I do warn though...it is heavily produced so if you like the sound of the original Broadway cast, you might not like the version of these songs. However, if you enjoy listening to an artist's take on a cover, this will probably be right up your alley. 90s Hip Hop and R&B are definitely threaded through this album. A. MUST. LISTEN!
This Mixtape, the original Hamilton concept CD is the perfect overture to my seeing the musical, finally next weekend during its run in Detroit. I can't wait. The mix of artists on this CD is phenomenal. From John Legend to Kelly Clarkson to several rappers, their voices carry the tantalizing melodies and amazing rhyme of the show. Bravo, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Musicals are reborn under you, just as our country was reborn under the genius of Alexander Hamilton.