‘Smash’: ‘Bombshell’ soundtrack is not to be forgotten

The album cover for Bombshell.

The album cover for Bombshell.

The soundtrack to Bombshell, the Broadway-musical-in-production from their drama Smash is finally in stores today. Bombshell features several new songs to be added to the musical throughout season two of Smash, including “Public Relations,” “The Right Regrets,” and an extended version of the opening number, “Let Me Be Your Star.”

Bombshell  is big, it’s bold, and it’s flashy—with a little sentiment thrown in. Exactly what you would expect from a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe and her professional and personal triumphs and pitfalls.

The previously unheard tracks help to complete the plot, with less focus being placed on the “Joe DiMaggio years,” as hinted to in Season One of Smash. (“You could do a baseball number,” exclaimed  every character in Season One of Smash when the idea of a Marilyn musical was presented.) With songs featuring Marilyn’s other romantic interests (President John F. Kennedy, played by guest star Julian Ovenden, and Arthur Miller), as well as Marilyn’s mother and her childhood, listeners are given the complete Marilyn Monroe story.

“At Your Feet” and “Hang the Moon” feature guest star Bernadette Peters in the role of Gladys Baker, Marilyn’s mother. Coincidentally Peters’ character is also mother to Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) who vied for the role of Marilyn in the first season. “At Your Feet” is a fun look at Marilyn’s childhood and where her dream of stardom began; “Hang the Moon” is a look back at Marilyn’s childhood from her mother’s point of view, and is a guaranteed tearjerker.

Another new tune, “(Let’s Start) Tomorrow Tonight”,  is sung by Season Two regular Leslie Odom Jr. (who plays ensemble member Sam Strickland), with backing vocals from the ensemble and Odom’s on-screen boyfriend, Tom Levitt (played by Broadway vet Christian Borle). The new addition, while not adding much to the show itself, is fun and upbeat—and one of the album’s catchiest tunes. Odom and Borle’s interaction sounds flirtatious and fun, as though their characters are singing the song to each other at the beginning.

Bombshell’s main goal is to give a peek behind the curtain at Marilyn Monroe’s life. With the addition of new numbers, the listener is given that opportunity and more of a chance to connect with a different side of Marilyn. A side that is more human and less iconic.

Her story is simply one about a girl who just wants to fall in love and achieve fame. We sympathize with Marilyn and her difficult childhood after listening to “At Your Feet” and “Second Hand White Baby Grand.” We struggle with her during “Let Me Be Your Star” and “They Just Keep Moving the Line.” And we support her head-over-heels romance with DiMaggio after “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

However, Bombshell doesn’t let the listener forget the sexier and popularized version of Marilyn. With suggestive numbers like “Let’s Be Bad” and “I Never Met A Wolf Who Didn’t Love to Howl,” the sexual side of Marilyn comes through, if only for a quick reminder of the other side of her life.

Bombshell’s songs are both catchy and heartwarming. The score ranges from a string accompaniment to a jazzy sax number, and sounds akin to the classic Broadway style of music. With the perfect combination of new songs and fan favorites, like “History Is Made at Night,” Bombshell will leave you begging for the show to come to Broadway.

The complete album can be bought on iTunes. 

What do you think about the new album? Who do you think most deserves to play Marilyn now that Bombshell is headed to Broadway in Smash?  Let us know!

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