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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
I saw this musical on Friday, May 30, 2014 on Broadway, during which I immediately purchased the soundtrack (for a great deal more than one can buy it here), then had Idina sign it at the stage door. I have been listening to it on repeat almost constantly ever since. It's a very timely production that has been created with If/Then, asking in many ways the endless possibilities and directions that one's life might take. The musical is hip, contemporary and perfect for fans of Rent (of course), Once, Wicked, or the beautifully talented Idina Menzel...

Although not a native to New York, I appreciate the tone and subject matter of each song on the album. They speak of the city like it's a dear friend, and not just concrete under their feet. The city makes these characters come alive. Containing nearly 70 minutes of songs delivered with gusto by each member of the cast, you will find yourself tapping to the beat and being drawn into the surprisingly emotional depth in the lyrics. Standouts are, of course, 'Here I Go', sung by the shy but hopeful Idina (Liz) and James Snyder (Josh), 'I Hate You' (Liz) as well as 'You Learn to Live Without' (Liz/Beth). These three songs in particular allow Idina's voice to soar. 'I Hate You' even takes some notes from 'No Good Deed', which was also sung by Idina in Wicked. You'll know what I mean when you hear it - but man! Can the lady sing fast!

I'll admit, I CRIED while watching the play, and I cried again listening to this album. The stars hold nothing back in their delivery. It's not for those with sensitive ears, as many of the lyrics (even one edited song title on the outside of the album) are explicit. These are 40-somethings living in New York City. Choice words are realistically expected. The explicit content is as much used for humor (especially in the song 'What the F---?") as much as it is used for realism.

There are some elements missing that I wish had been contained on this album, but simply for story purposes. Some dialogue at the beginning and the end of the play (delivered by Idina) would have been nice accompaniments to the rest of the lyrics. There are also a few (singing) cast lines omitted in the 'What If? (Reprise)". Not sure why they cut those lines out, but they were. Still, the album is full of music and feels complete, even with those few slight omissions.

In general, I don't think that anyone could go wrong with purchasing this album. Be aware that there are two different story lines interchangeably being played out through these songs, so while you may not fully understand the plot as you listen, you will still enjoy the ride.

And if you ever get the chance, please do try to see If/Then on Broadway, especially while Idina continues to fill the lead role. It'll be an experience to remember.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I have yet to see the musical live yet but I'm a fan of Idina Menzel and wanted to hear some new songs from her. This soundtrack does not disappoint and I have been listening to it nonstop since I received it. Favorite songs so far are "I hate you", "You Learn to Live Without" and "The Moment Explodes". Like another post said, some of the music is reminiscent of Wicked. After hearing the soundtrack I'll definitely be purchasing tickets soon!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2014
After seeing this show on Broadway, I bought this CD the day it was available. Overall, I am satisfied and would purchase it again. I am the kind of person who will listen to a new album on repeat if I enjoy it, and this one stayed in my car for the entire month of June. Unlike other musical soundtracks, this one is a little more difficult to sing along to, as the lyrics are dense and rapidly changing. However, it certain songs are catchy and I will happily belt out the 80% of the words I can remember for "Ain't No Man Manhattan" or "I Hate You". Other favorites on this album include "Here I Go", "No More Wasted Time", and of course "Always Starting Over."

If you have not seen the show, or do not know about the plot of the show, it may help to familiarize yourself to fully follow the soundtrack. Menzel plays the parts of both Beth and Liz, exploring two different paths one woman could have taken in life surrounded by the same group of people. This is integral to the story and being able to follow the plot. For instance, the song "Surprise" goes back and forth between the birthday parties held for Beth and Liz. In one party 40 candles because she loves candles, in the alternate life party, 1 candle because she hates waste.

With Idinia Menzel headlining this soundtrack, it's tempting to give it 5 stars simply because she does bring a 5 star quality to this show. However, having seen the show with the full cast from the recording, the recording warrants 4 instead of 5 stars because somehow it doesn't quite pack the emotional punch that the show actually did. The show stopping number "Always Starting Over" had me on the edge of my seat in the theatre. On the soundtrack, it fell a little short of the emotional powerhouse I was anticipating.

As a whole, however, this is an interesting concept for a show and good soundtrack. If you have seen the show and are contemplating the purchase, do it. If you are a Broadway junkie or an Idina fan, again worth the buy. If you are a parent considering this because your kid likes Frozen, DO NOT purchase this for your children to listen to. With song titles such as "What the F**k?", there is explicit language throughout the show. I am by no means the kind of person who is offended by explicit language, but was somewhat surprised by the amount that there was in the show. For instance, in Les Mis, there is a novelty and the words are sprinkled in (think "Master of the House"). In If/Then, they are more readily there, as it is the style of language that goes with the characters.

Overall, it is a solid soundtrack. Not quite as powerful as I had hoped for after seeing the show, but there are still some great numbers and the whole cast - not just Idina - is great.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2014
I saw this the other day not looking too much into the plot just knowing I had to see Idina Menzel in person. Plus I loved Next to Normal by the same composers. It did not disappoint. Her voice was amazing and I enjoyed seeing Anthony Rapp. The cast recording may is great and it gets better with repeat listening. While I love seeing shows live sometimes some of the clarity or the words can be lost with the ensemble numbers. These numbers are clear in the recording and the lyrics can really be appreciated. Worth a listen if you want to hear some great voices in a piece that has some darker moments that most happy go lucky musicals.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2014
I saw If/Then when it was in previews this fall in Washington DC and fell in love. The musical is great, but there's something about seeing Idina Menzel on stage that is just thrilling. I was worried that her stage presence and star power were what made this musical (and its music) so compelling and special, so I was a bit worried about whether I would end up liking the cast recording. On listening to it this morning, I'm now sure that the music itself is compelling and not just propelled by Idina Menzel's star power. I love the CD and the songs, and the recording is of high quality. I imagine that I'll listen to this again and again. Definitely worth buying if you're a fan of musical theater or Idina Menzel.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2014
Idina Menzel's powerful voice really shines though in the If/Then soundtrack. I have been an Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp fan for a long time now and couldn't have been more excited about this new musical. All of the songs do exactly what songs in a musical should do: convey a story. The array of songs on this album and the talented voices of all of the shows actors will have you feeling all of the same emotions that the characters feel throughout the show, even if you've never seen it. I would recommend this album to anyone who's a fan of musical theater.

My favorite songs are:

"Some Other Me"
"You Don't Have to Love Me"
"Best Worst Mistake"
"I Hate You"
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2014
In listening to this CD I was reminded of an old, old Jerry Lewis song, "Oh, The Book Was So Much Better Than the Picture." I had hoped to capture some of the electrifying, sparkling feelings I had when I saw the show If/Then two months ago, but except for Idina's tracks, and one or two other fine numbers, I found it disappointing. For me, you had to be there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2014
Good music but better live! I loved the music when I saw the show but I think the cast recording loses something on CD! It's strange because I was really looking forward to the release but I am slightly disappointed! Idina Menzel is fabulous and there are some songs that I think are standouts; "What If", "Here I Go", "The Moment Explodes", "You Learn To Live Without" and "Always Starting Over". This is one CD that I've loaded into iTunes and simply pulled the songs I really like onto CD's with other songs. WARNING: For parents or anyone listening with kids there are many songs containing explicit language so saving the CD in iTunes and burning the non-explicit songs is a good option here as well!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2014
I was genuinely disappointed in this score and production. The talent associated with this musical is staggering-I expected more after Next To Normal. There are some wonderful, exceptional songs featured in Act 2. Act One is a melting pot of bland sameness. Idina is in top vocal form and is stunning, but the material fails here. Best songs to download "You Dont Need To Love Me" (Rapp), "Learn To Live Without" (Idina) and "Always Starting Over" (Idina).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2014
If you are any kind of Broadway Musical fan you definitely want this CD. This musical is so good and its an original not made or borrowed from a movie. This is something musical fans really want! The whole cast is outstanding. I am a Renthead so it was amazing to hear Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp in a new musical. If I could give it 10 stars I would!
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