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Spider-Man: Turn on the Music

Songs from the Broadway musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark are featured on a new recording.

By New York City
Bono and The Edge describe Music From Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (Interscope Records) as a "sampler of what we've been up to with the music on Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark." And their words should be kept in mind while listening to this album, as it is not so much a cast recording of the current Broadway megamusical, but a concept recording (there are demo tracks featuring the songwriters) which contains both promising work and material that might need to be left to the side.

For anyone listening to the album who's not seen the production, it should be noted that it will be nearly impossible to glean the narrative arc of the show or how the individual songs might fit into it as there are no liner notes or synopsis. Further, the order of the songs on the disc bears no resemblance to the run order of the show.

Given this, it's not surprising that the two most successful songs on disc are those delivered with gleeful panache by Patrick Page as the show's villain Dr. Norman Osborn, who later becomes The Green Goblin: "D.I.Y. World," an electronica fueled sequence which introduces audiences to the character's insane genius; and "A Freak Like Me Needs Company," a campy number for the character, which was added to the show after its hiatus.

Meanwhile, listeners may find that the songs for Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Reeve Carney) and his love Mary Jane (Jennifer Damiano) seem like wan generic recreations of bigger hits by the songwriters. Yet, even in these, there are some decidedly pleasant surprises. "No More" -- in which both characters express their hopes and dreams -- has a wistful melody that somehow manages to capture both the angst and aspirations of young adults; while the plaintive ballad "Rise Above" (heard in two different incarnations) ably serves as a melancholy anthem for the hero.

For tickets and more information on the Broadway production, click here.


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