I’ve been anxiously waiting for this cast album. After knowing and loving the original broadway cast recording I was excited for the revival and a new cast recording. However, I can officially say I had higher hopes for the show and this cast album. It isn’t terrible, nor is it bad, but it is incomparable to the original broadway cast recording. The original broadway cast recording captures a different type of emotion in the songs and is hugely and beautifully belted. I wouldn’t say this cast album flat, but it is sure dull. It makes sense Emily Padgett and Erin Davie aren’t belting. They’re young girls in the show, not grown adults. I get it. But having the original in my head Emily Padgett and Erin Davie sound bored . They’re not bad belters or singers, just different. I like the new orchestrations but don’t love them. The orchestra is good, but not I’m not wowed. However I do actually like the new songs added. They do help tell the story better. I have it say Broadway Records have produced another great recording. The mixing is great and there little to no auto-tune. And the booklet is fantastic. I’m excited to what else they produce in the future. Make sure to buy or check the 2014 Revival Cast Recording of Side Show on February 24 in stores or on iTunes and Amazon!
I feel like Calum wouldn’t like to show it, but he wouldn’t like it when you’d blast Justin Bieber’s new album in your flat. After a few hours of hearing you singing along, he would finally suggest you could listen to All Time Low or something. “He isn’t that good, Y/N,” he’d say. You’d lift your eyebrows, press your lips into a tight line, “But he has like 30 million followers more than you on Instagram.” Calum’s mouth would slightly open, but he’d close it a second after. “I don’t care about that,” he’d say. “Now that I’ve mentioned it, you do,” you’d reply, a smirk on your face. You didn’t care about that at all, but Cal’s reaction was funny. “I don’t really like you,” he’d say with a serious tone before leaving the room, making you laugh. “IT’S NOT FUNNY, Y/N.”
It’s certainly rich for two white men from the Tory capital of the country to call themselves Slaves. It’s also certainly bloody rich for them to masquerade as skinhead punk rockers “sticking it to the man" when they’re wetter than diarrhoea and stand for fucking nothing.
That’s what this album is. Nothing. Opening song “The Hunter” contains the lyric “you don’t like what we do because we say what we think and that shocks and frightens you”. Remind me what you are saying? I’ve worked zero-hour jobs before too, and the difference is I actually have something to say about it, not the vaguest smarmy rhetoric that is as vacuous as the black hole of nothing this album and its scuzzy, ugly riffs occupy.
The singles are at least catchy, but musically the album falls completely flat. “Sockets” has less dynamics than TV static, “Ninety Nine” has the fucking nerve to copy the same musical aesthetic as Sleaford Mods (an infinitely better lo-fi working-class punk duo) and the last track “Sugar Coated Bitter Truth” is the band trying to do a haunting ballad and cocking everything up about it.
“Do Something” features frontman Isaac Holman blaring “if you’re not moving, do something” over Laurie Vincent’s looming guitar riffs, Vincent seriously ripping off Steve Ignorant from fucking Crass (seriously, fuck you for doing that). The effect is cruel, sarcastic, patronising, and that sums up the whole album.
The video for recent single “Cheer Up London" was released on the same day that the people of Britain woke up to the news of five more years of a Conservative government; five more years of division, suffering and death under the policies of austerity. Meanwhile, these two fake pricks milk the sufferings of the disaffected youth who need to know where to focus their anger, and they’re laughing to the fucking bank. Nothing on this album is heartfelt. Nothing on this album means anything. This album is disgusting and offensive. Take the money you’d blow on a Slaves show and look up Martha, Sleaford Mods, Skinny Girl Riot, the many other bands that are plugging at the UK DIY circuit who don’t have the benefit of getting lucky and bedding an NME/Radio 1 rep. Because this band don’t deserve your support. I’m not fucking satisfied.
The First time we hit Berlin, after London Calling came out, I was sitting at this cafe, talking to this 16-year old skinhead. He was saying he was horrified, that he couldn’t stand it, because his grandmother was grooving around to the London Calling album in his flat.
“You look beautiful, darling,” my mother sighed, clasping the silver necklace she and my father had bought me for my birthday recently: a pair of point shoes dangling daintily from the delicate chain.
“Thank you,” I replied, a faint blush creeping over my pale cheeks.
Another photo snapped of my mother and I—my father adored documenting everything. Our home was full of memories captured in still frames: on the walls, in albums, on any flat surface. It was kind of beautiful the way the myriad of photographs followed our families journey, everything from the wedding between my parents, to the first steps I took as a child, to our first vacation, and of course, my first dance recital.
In fact, dance had a sort of shrine in our home. There were pictures, trophies, old shoes, and other miscellaneous items placed in a corner of our family room upon a glass shelf.
Dance was what I had acquired a passion for, and my parents simply followed suit, supporting my love. Unlike, some parents that squashed their children’s dreams, like Valerie’s. Valerie had so much talent in her bones, so much passion for the many things she wanted from this life, but her parents did everything to destroy her flame.
Looking at my parents, I realized again just how much I appreciated their love and devotion for me and my dream. Reaching out, I grabbed at both of their arms, pulling them close for an embrace. It was not shocking to them, I was always affectionate with my parents in a way that often got me made fun of by Valerie and her posse, but they did not understand our iron clad bond.
They were my rock. My pillar of support. My home.
“I love you,” I murmured into their shoulders.
“I love you, too,” they said simultaneously, kissing one side of my forehead.
An hour and a half passed with me waiting on my couch for Valerie to text or call to give me the ok to meet up at her place. Fidgeting with the delicate mask in my hands, I let out a small sigh as yet another minute ticked happily by.
Maybe she took longer to get ready than what was expected? Maybe she wanted some time with Jimin before the dance? Maybe she just forgot about you?
Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Hello,” I said, quickly answering my cell, speaking in a rushed, elated voice.
“Hey,” it was Jimin’s voice. My heart jumped into my throat, choking me. Why was he the one calling?
“Hey,” I murmured idiotically. Stupid, my brain reprimanded, you already said that. Right.
“Umm, where is Valerie?” I asked.
A long sigh emitted from the other line, “She’s here with me. We are leaving “Blue Hill” now.”
So, they had already went to dinner? A loud eruption of laughter and general chatter broke through to my ears. My brain picked out her voice immediately. Valerie had left me behind, forgotten like a broken toy.
“Oh,” I breathed, holding back tears, “Ok, well I will meet up with you guys at the dance.”
“Ok, Val says to send her love,” he lied, covering for my supposed best friend, “And, Sage?”
“Yeah,” I replied overtly perky, covering for my lack of a backbone.
“Now, you be sure to call me whenever you’re ready to leave,” my dad insisted, stroking my cheek gently from the driver seat, “Even if it’s in five minutes.”
“Dad,” I deadpanned, “I told you I was capable of driving myself. You didn’t need to do this, I’m fi—.”
“No,” he said, shaking his head, “You aren’t fine. That was a very mean thing she did tonight.”
Glancing out of the passenger window, I watched as classmates disguised in masks sauntered by, feeling grand in their suits and gowns. I wondered silently where Jimin and Valerie were; whether they were inside the gymnasium dancing the night away, or if they were stuck in the throng of those still making their way through the line outside of the lobby. Wherever they were, I was sure of one thing: they were not mulling over my location.
Why am I even here? Why is my friendship falling apart now of all times? Why has she forgotten me?
“I was afraid that if I didn’t drive you, you wouldn’t go, and that isn’t fair to you,” my dad uttered, “Sage, just promise me something.”
Peering from the corner of my eye, I looked at him through the openings of my mask, shielding the glistening tears brimming them, “What?”
“Don’t let her ruin your night,” he stated bluntly, catching me by surprise.
Responding automatically, I whispered, “She won’t,” which only caused my dad to shoot me a stern, serious look.
Considering his request, I thought about the tears I had shed at her expense this evening, and nodded, declaring, “I won’t.”
My heart, though, was not so sure that it was strong enough to follow through with that promise. Putting on a brave face nonetheless, I let myself out of the car, careful not to snag my pale pink dress as I waved adieu to my dad and made my way to the lengthy line at the front of the school.
In no time at all I found myself at the front doors, handing my ticket to the student council members on duty at the entrance. Coming face to face with Seokjin, our secretary, we exchanged polite greetings of ‘hello’ and ‘you look nice’ before I parted, gliding seamlessly toward the gymnasiums open doors. Taking in a deep breath, I plunged into the masquerade.
The lights were dimmed and in different hues of pinks and gold to match that of the foam statues situated about the large room. Upon the wooden floor, there was a magnificent red and gold carpet, decorated intricately with lion heads—our school’s mascot. Poised just above the carpeting were the many masqueraders, all adorning a unique mask of their own, dancing together in a sea of movement. Our gymnasium no longer presented the appeal of a basketball game, or volleyball match, but instead, held an appeal of real grandeur.
Traipsing the edge of the carpet, I let myself enjoy the melody of some popular song that the DJ was currently spinning. But, my eyes were scanning the ocean of dancers, searching for their faces: Jimin and Valerie. Surely, even with masks I would recognize the two of them. At least, my mind worked, I knew what Valerie’s dress looked like.
Just then, a hue of turquoise caught my eyes. It was her, Valerie, the queen, dancing merrily with her beau near the middle of the floor. So, she really had forgotten me. She didn’t need me at all. A droplet hit my cheek, startling me, but upon pressing one fingertip to the wetness I knew that my heart had broken its promise to my dad. Valerie had broken my heart—she had shattered my night.
However, just as I turned on the heel of my pink ballet flat to leave behind that moment, a dark gaze met mine. I knew those eyes better than I knew my own, even thru a mask. And, just like that, the room began disappearing; one dancer after another was erased, until finally we were alone. Watching intently, I saw his arms detangle from hers as he twirled the queen to another admirer for a song, and then, sauntered toward me.
Reminding my lungs to breathe, I smiled uneasily as he planted his feet before me, holding out an upturned palm for me to take with my own. Was this a dream, I pondered deliriously. Should I take this incredible opportunity? Am I brave enough to dance alongside the boy I am in love with? Can I do this?
Looking just beyond the shoulder of his dress shirt, I spotted her grinding against another boy without a second thought about Jimin’s feelings. Valerie had no qualms with pushing aside the feelings of others like spare parts, why shouldn’t I do the same? Nodding internally, I made the decision to put my own heart first. A feeling that I never thought possible—a selfishness that I was unaware I was capable of.
Pressing my palm into his, I allowed that sense of selfishness to harness itself within my veins—to push me toward the crimson dance floor. Butterflies were buzzing thru my belly, leaving me weak in the knees as that delectable grin spanned his lips. A nervous flush colored my body the shade of my dress, making me grateful for the dimness of the room, as he twirled me suddenly to the beat of a new song. A song that did not offer room for tasteless butt shaking, or uncoordinated two stepping.
Gulp. A slow, couple-y song erupted from the speakers. Surely Valerie would want to dance with him during an intimate melody? But, upon scanning the room once again, I saw her content within the arms of yet another boy. When was enough, enough for her?
Before I had time to debate on the good and bad lingering within the auburn beauty swaying gently across the room, a pair of strong hands were circling my waist. Hesitantly, I let my gaze find his own, wondering if he knew that beneath the gold mask was boring-ol’-plain Sage.
Our feet began moving, my own following his languid movement as the music flowed through each of our hearts. I had never been held this way by a boy, so close, so tenderly. Our bodies were pressed flush against one another, his nose brushing the bridge of my own. My fingertips chanced a touch through those silky dark locks before settling upon the base of his neck. And, suddenly, the whole world was falling away.
For once, this was all about us. This was all about the love I had harbored the majority of my life. Every heart in the room was surely melting with mine. I wasn’t sure where this bravery had come from, but I was seizing this moment, no matter whose eyes were watching.
Suddenly, that sultry voice was whispering against my ear, raising the skin on my arms, “I told you I could never overlook you.”
“How did,” I started, surprised that he had caught onto my identity so quickly.
“Sage,” he pressed a finger to my lips, making me wonder what his own would feel like against them, “You are too beautiful to be mistaken for someone else.”
My feet stopped moving, awkwardly pressing over his toes, “Sorry.”
“Don’t be,” he chuckled sweetly, his lips a breath away from mine. Those eyes delving into my soul.
“Jimin, I—,” the words died at my lips as his lips brushed mine. A kiss stolen in the moment that started a fire so destructive no one could ever hope to put it out.
His lips were soft against mine. The kiss chaste, ending as quickly as it came. My eyes squeezed shut, hoping that he would offer more contact, but just like that, he was gone. His warmth evaporating from my greedy hands as he stepped away from me with an inward groan. We both knew this was wrong.
“Sage,” he said over the music, “We can’t. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t…I can’t…I’m.”
And, he disappeared altogether, searching blindly for Valerie. His girlfriend. My best friend.
“I’m an idiot,” I whispered, running away from the scene—away from the ‘ball’ and it’s queen.
Well, that’s all for this lesson. Sorry, I have really been fighting myself on this one and still am unhappy with the result. I may be tearing it down and reposting it because I just really do not like it, but I promised to have it up weeks ago. Sorry everyone!