I never imagined that I would write anything less than a glowing review of this album, but I’m afraid I must do just that. I understand that this is a “highlights” album, but how on earth is “Do You Hear the People Sing” not a highlight?
The Les Miserables soundtrack is excellent, but while the orchestra is incredible some of the stars falter where the original actors shined. To give direct comparison I feel that Russell Crowe was not as vocally skilled as the original inspector Javert, nor is Marius, but where those two faltered I felt that Sacha Baron Cohen, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried were actually better. To me Hugh Jackman\’s Jean Valjean was comparable with the original actor. All in all great soundtrack. Check out \”I dreamed a Dream\” it is exceptional, on the same note listen to the original recording of \”One Day More\” and you will understand what I mean. Check it out.
As for the music that is present, it’s good, but it’s hard for me to hear the songs being “acted” rather than sung. I’m sure this will make for a fantastic film, but it doesn’t make for an amazing listening experience. I never expected for Jackman to equal Colm Wilkinson or Crowe to equal Philip Quast, yet I still feel disappointed. (As a sidenote, Eddie Redmayne has exceeded my expectations, Samantha Barks is as wonderful as I hoped, and I was thrilled to hear Wilkinson as the Bishop.)
A highlights album will inevitably leave out someone’s favorite song, and I’d recommend you check the track list before deciding to purchase this album to make sure your favorite song is included–I sure wish I’d done that! Surely they’ll release a complete cast recording at some point that will make everyone happy. Until then, I’ll keep listening to my favorite Les Mis recording, Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert.