‘The Greatest Showman opens in theaters in the Philippines this January 31. It is a film loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum of the infamous Barnum and Bailey Circus and its band of misfits. But before the movie screens in our cinemas, let me take a moment to discuss how marvelous the songs are on its soundtrack that is now on its second week at No.1 on the Billboard 200. I am not surprised 'cause it’s currently one of the best and catchiest soundtracks I’ve ever heard in my life, and, no, I’m not being exaggerated with my superlatives.
The first track is "The Greatest Show" and what a way it is to open the show! It’s anthemic, uplifting and contemporarily catchy! It also features Hugh Jackman’s vocals who plays the lead P.T. Barnum in this musical film along with the rest of the cast. I’m imagining this could actually be the opening number of the circus in the movie.
Ziv Zaifman lends his voice to "A Million Dreams" as a young P.T. Barnum with such a haunting innocence. The track transitions to Hugh and Michelle Williams’s vocals continuing his naive alter ego’s aspirational emotions with a reprise by their daughter played by Austyn Johnson. This song has all the Disney feels that captures that target market.
"Come Alive" is another uplifting number in the track list, as how most of the songs are really in this soundtrack. This one sounds leaning more towards broadway fare still contemporary enough for radio airplay. It also weirdly gives me Dirty Dancing or Saturday Night Fever vibes that will make you take to the dance floor and clap your hands to the music. Here’s a jaw-dropping live performance of the cast at the 20th Century FOX studios making you realize what a stellar cast of performers this film has.
Then there’s a recitativo track with Zac Efron and Hugh which makes the exposition through song fantastically delightful. "The Other Side" is about Barnum convincing a playwright Carlyle, to be his business partner in his, then, foolish endeavor of putting up a circus.
The Voice alum Loren Allred provides the singing voice for Rebecca Ferguson’s character in the film Jenny Lind, the Swedish opera singer, in the power ballad "Never Enough." It is a great choice of vocalist to tweak and modernize this story thread of the film, resulting in a poignant track that female belters will now definitely be making covers of. For sure, this will become a popular audition piece in future talent search shows.
And, of course, the theme song, apparently, of this wondrous musical, "This Is Me" by R&B singer-cum-broadway actress Keala Settle playing the bearded lady. It recently won Best Original Song in the recently concluded Golden Globe Awards.
The rest of the tracks are still notable from the love duet of Zac and Zendaya ‘Rewrite The Stars’ to "Tightrope" featuring the singing prowess of Michelle. This has got to be one of the greatest musical soundtracks ever assembled. I’ve been listening to it on spotify on repeat and it’s great for listening during long runs. A friend even confessed to running a few kilometers more 'cause of it!
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Banner image taken from Efron's Instagram. The rest of the photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox