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Rent (2005 Movie Soundtrack)

4.5 out of 5 stars 268 customer reviews

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Product Description

One of the longest-running shows (since 1996) in the history of Broadway, and one of its most beloved, RENT was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Based on Puccini's classic opera "La Boheme," Jonathan Larson's revolutionary rock opera tells the story of a group of bohemians struggling for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and the AIDS epidemic in New York's gritty East Village. Now the powerful musical marks its 10th year on stage by coming to the big screen, accompanied by RENT The Motion Picture Soundtrack, produced by Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, Alanis Morissette). Warner. 2005.

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It's not that surprising that Rent, a successful musical with a strong youth following, would have transferred from the New York stage to film. What is remarkable is that the material has aged very well and that most of the original cast have made the trip to the silver screen. This is no small feat since nearly ten years have elapsed since the show's Off-Broadway debut and the film's release. When it opened in 1996, Jonathan Larson's rock musical based on neobohemian life in the gritty East Village felt a bit hackneyed at times; now, Rent feels more like a Broadway fantasy about life on the edge, and that new element actually works in the show's favor. The two cast additions--Rosario Dawson (replacing Daphne Rubin-Vega as Mimi) and Tracie Thomas (replacing Fredi Walker as Joanne)--act well and with emotion, but aren't quite powerful enough. They are eclipsed by vets such as Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, and Taye Diggs, who of course had the chance to perfect their roles on stage and can also be heard on the original cast recording. It's a pleasure to hear these stalwarts New York performers strut their stuff again. This soundtrack will please the show's fans, and probably attract new ones. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: November 23, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • ASIN: B000AYEI4U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,570 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M J Heilbron Jr. on October 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Right from the beginning, this is the same "Rent", but different. And yes, better.

Somehow, Chris Columbus has taken a beloved, Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical, a deeply personal and heartfelt rock musical twist on "La Boheme", and improved it.

I know what you're thinking. It's not possible. I didn't think so either.

But just go with me for a second here. It's obvious he loves this piece. He treats it with such affinity and respect, yet adds (or subtracts) things until we have this only-slightly stream-lined powerhouse of a musical. The fat has been trimmed, and what's left is lean, powerful, emotional, gutsy...as a card-carrying Rent-head, I was blown away.

It opens with "Seasons Of Love", revealing this exquisite new recording to be full of detail and clarity. It's like a layer of grime has been scraped from the version you are all familiar with. The vocals are clear, the instrumentation vivid and precise. That plaintive piano motif sounds so perfect; it's like the sound of a heart breaking just a little.

For those of us who have memorized the Broadway soundtrack, that song being first isn't as jarring as you'd expect; when the next song "Rent" comes crashing in, all sense of order is restored. The guitars are harder, the drums thundering in spectacular fashion. Some of the spoken bits are excised from the inner parts of the song, which is perfect. In fact, most of the expository fluff has been trimmed, and all for the better.

And remember, I love the original. Passionately.

We shift unexpectedly to "You'll See", with all the interleaving vocals perfectly clear and evocative. Taye Diggs performs here with assurance and flair. He takes a little piece that moves the story along and infuses it with some soul.
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Format: Audio CD
Calling it different is a bit of an exaggeration becuase this CD really tries to keep it as true to the original as possible, and they do a good job. Keep in mind a couple songs were removed or shortened becuase the musical is now in a movie format.

But I'd like to point out that it's stil 95% the same. As my title states, the music is much better than the original, all instrument performances are much richer and complex without changing the actual song structure.

If you like rent, you will like this CD as the musical improvements will make it worth your money, and it stays so close to the original that you won't be turned off either.

To point out some spcific changes, I would like to say that while Rosario Dawson's (MiMi) performance is different than the original, it's a bit more girly (not in a bad way). I'm at a stand still with 'Light My Candle' becuase there's more acting in some of the words and retort, which from a pure musical performance, is borderline over the top but hopefully will come off fine in the movie itself.
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Format: Audio CD
In 1996, a small musical transfered from its home Off-Broadway to a new theater in the heart of Time's Square. That show was Rent, and 9 years, four Tonys, and one Pulitzer Prize later, Rent is finally being made into a film with almost the entire Original Broadway Cast reprising their roles.

Warner Bros. has already stared hyping the film, and part of the major media blitz is the release of the soundtrack nearly two months before the film. My iPod will never be the same.

Though the two disc film soundtrack is incredably similar to the Original Broadway Cast Recording (after all, six of the eight principal actors in the film starred in the Original Broadway Cast anyway), there are some changes, most of them for the better.

One is the more powerful sound of the music. It's nice to hear these songs played by a larger band than the six piece band that plays in the stage version. The sound on this recording is much more complete and full. Some of the aditional music and re-orchestrations are great as well. My favorites are the musical interlude in "Tango: Maureen," the musical tag at the end of "Over the Moon," and the new song "Love Heals," which will supposedly play over the credits.

Another thing that makes this recording so great is the maturity of the performers. After nine years, not only can they still nail their parts, but most of them sound even better. The nine extra years of training and work can be heard, especially in Idina Menzel, the recent Tony Award winner for Wicked and future mega-recording artist for Warner Bros. Records. She belts out "Take Me or Leave Me" with more power and punch on this recording than on the OBC recording, and her comic timing on the song/monologue "Over the Moon" is impecable.
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Format: Audio CD
I purchased The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and I love it (although, its not OBC) it holds its own on a different scale. If you're looking for a more broadway sound, obviously try the Original Broadway Cast, everyone's the same (except for Mimi - Rosario Dawson and Joanne - Tracie Thoms). If you're more rock and are THAT into showtunes, get the full length CD.

My friend purchased the Highlights after seeing the movie (which she LOVED) and she finds that some of the most moving songs like 'Another Day' aren't on there. SO, I'm just warning potential buyers...the original movie soundtrack may be more expensive, but its worth it. You can capture the FULL magic of it.

I love this musical and this cast, I would hate to see you miss out.
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