The Marvel superhero who shoots spider webs won’t grace our screens until next year, when Andrew Garfield breathes life into the franchise as The Amazing Spider-Man. Meanwhile, somewhere on Broadway, the costumed crime fighter is singing his heart out as he deals with the struggles of adolescence while trying to save the world from baddies.
What, a crooning Spider-Man? No, you are not hearing things as Peter Parker sings “If I can use a single thread to cross the sky/ Then why is the eye of the needle still your heart tonight/ See how the boy falls from the sky”.
Yes, if there’s one superhero who should stage a musical to chronicle the emotional origin and his battles with evil villains, it has to be Spider-man.
The 51 minute album is an original cast recording of the rock musical which premiered on Broadway earlier in June. With music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and The Edge and a book by Julie Taymor, Glen Berger and Roberto Aguirre Sacasa, the musical tells the story of how Peter Parker became the web slinger, his romance with Mary Jane and how he keeps baddie Green Goblin off the streets.
After a rollicking “NY Debut” (you can almost imagine The Edge strumming his guitar on stage), you hear Reeve Carney perform “Boy Falls From The Sky” with his raspy voice. 28 year old Carney, an American singer songwriter and actor, plays the titular role in this expensive production. His soaring vocals exude a rocker attitude that is both boyish and manly, which are apt for the role.
The standout track on the disc is “Rise Above 2” performed by Carney, Jennifer Damiano (Mary Jane) and TV Carpio (Arachne, a great mortal weaver based on Greek mythologies). Its dramatically written lyrics (“For every heart that bleeds/ Will colour your world red/ And the sorrow in the night/ Will be the blue you cannot shed”) complement the artistes’ rich vocals. The operatic score orchestration also ups the emotional factor of the tune. A single version performed by Carney is also included on the album.
Fans of traditional musical tunes will enjoy other emotionally affecting tracks include “I Just Can’t Walk Away (Say It Now)”, “No More” and “Turn Off The Dark”. Elsewhere, cues like “Bouncing Off Walls”, “DIY World” and “A Freak Like Me Needs Company” mirror the highly technical stunts (the production features actors swinging from webs and exciting aerial combats) showcased in the musical.
While this album only includes a selection of songs from the musical, it is enough to whet your appetite, hoping that Spider-Man would swing his way onto a local theatre stage soon.
Recommended Track: (13) Rise Above 2
Review by John Li