One Song this week!

Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical performing Esmeralda picture image

Ensemble performing Esmeralda

Esmeralda –  Before I start, can I just say that watching the La Jolla performance of this song was bat-shit stupid.  It was dumb to  have Frollo stab Phoebus, then blames Esmeralda for it and yet he just condemned Phoebus to die and Esmeralda is already wanted. It like what the hell? What is the point of Frollo stabbing Phoebus? Musical, I respect what you’re doing but you can’t just insert the stabbing scene from the book  into your show like that. You just seem like you want to add things even though they don’t make sense with the narrative you’re telling. And while I’m mentioning the La Jolla recording, there are a lot of differences from the La Jolla version of this song vs the cast album. Do you have any idea how tasking these reviews are? I have to deal with the Disney Movie Version, the book, the German version, and two versions of the English musical version.

As you may know, Esmeralda is the Act 1 closer from the German version. This is where Frollo is on a man-hunt for Esmeralda and is burning Paris because he is super  obsessed. It’s also where Phoebus says No to Frollo for not burning  a Family in a Mill, though in this musical version it’s a brothel that harbors Gypsies. I think the change is so they could make some sexual connotations about Phoebus visiting and that Frollo shouldn’t be there.

Esmeralda was my favorite song from the German version as it’s both very dramatic and speaks to the basic theme of the story, the differences of the hearts of three men. I will say that it’s not my favorite song in this version as the I slightly prefer the Tavern song but it’s on point with the German. I do however have some issues with it though.

For starters, I hate the lyric “He held the Torch that Crackled like the Gypsy’s Voice.”   Even if Esmeralda in these Disnye-ish versions has a smokey quality, crackled is a terrible word choice. I understand Phoebus is supposed to be reminded of her in this instant and in the German version he hears her singing in his head but really Menken? Crackled?  A Crackling voice is indicative of an old person or someone with a cold.

And there is another issue I have. When Phoebus hears Esmeralda sing in his head in the German version, she sings a few lines from a song she sang to him in Notre Dame. This is the case in La Jolla performance though it’s a chorus and not Esmeralda herself. He then throws the Torch and say I’m just a fool though the line in German is I think I rather be Good than right.  In the cast album it’s FREAKING God Help the Outcasts, which yes is pretty BUT Phoebus never heard that song! It’s wouldn’t be important to him as the other song was because Esmeralda sung it directly to Phoebus. They just replaced  because the audience knew it better. That choice annoys. It also annoys that they just didn’t have Esmeralda sing it because she even reveals herself to Frollo and crew while in the German version she stays out of sight like in the Disney movie. This choices are really ill-conceived.

Weird choices asides, this still a great song that is much like German version in term of its powerful grand scale and is a great song to end Act I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda and Pierre

God bless this stupid movie for trying a love song but omg is this shit corny as fuck.

This is Gringoire, erm I mean Pierre and Esmeralda’s love-love song. They use phrases like “once upon a dream,”  “ I gave him my heart,” and other stuff hyper lame sentences.

I’m really surprised there wasn’t a lyrics that said “ You’re my forever girl,”  sure it’s a silly line from Avatar the Last Airbender (love that show) but it would have fit in with the rest of the dumb prose of this song.

Yeah it’s  stupid and the instrument use is dumb but the singer tried so C+.

Still better than the love song from The Thief and the Cobbler but not by much.

Frollo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo

I don’t know what to call this song, it’s basically Frollo stating who he is, what he wants and how godlike he is.  He wants simply everything, who can’t relate to that?

I really enjoy this song. It’s so hammy and over-the-top that is just an utter delight.  I think the voice actor/singer is REALLY having fun with this song. Frollo is just power hungry ego-manic and that makes for a good villain with a silly song.

This is song is far too short.

Props to the singer for saying Forte correctly, A+. Also I want to point out that all the singers sing very well  which is unlike the Jetlag version, that guy’s raspy voice still annoys me.

Gargoyles sing to Quasimodo,The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Gargoyles sing to Quasimodo,The Secret of the Hunchback

If you had known two things about Secret of the Hunchback going before now it would have been Quasimodo is an angel and the singing “Jazzy” Gargoyles. Clearly this is what inspired Josh Brolin with his failed “jazzy” Hunchback movie.

This song is sung by a Gargoyle in Quasimodo’s dream, so unlike Disney this movie makes it clear that the Gargoyles aren’t real except when they cry, confusion. The subject matter on this song is just what you think, Quasimodo is awesome, fuck looks. The Gargoyle uses phrases like “out of sight,” and “doo-wa” to get this point across.

My God is this song just out of left field in terms of style. It’s Jazzy with its “Doo-was” and electric piano and cello that they back-up gargoyles are playing. One could make the  argument that Disney’s Gargoyles did this but they were more consistent throughout their movie, here it’s like a weird WTF slap in the face.

It’s a harmless dumb song but my brain can’t really process the utter dumbness of Doo-was and sunglass wearing Gargoyles for a few minutes.

Also this song feels much longer than it is, I blame the Jazz-y-ness.

Esmeralda The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda

Ok, let’s be real, on the spectrum of songs that could be in a Hunchback movie  there is one end that is Disney and Notre Dame de Paris i.e good songs and then there are the songs on the level of the rapping dog from Titanic The legend goes on or what that shit was called or the shitty songs. The Secret of the Hunchback songs falls closer to the rapping dog end but it’s much better the songs from the Jetlag  version or Enchanted Tales.

The First song in this version is Esmeralda’s something more song and literally those are lyrics. This is unquestionably stupid, I mean they didn’t even try to hide the trope. She literally wants more than her current life offers. Though in her shallow naivety she just wants nice stuff and a cute boys  which feels very in line with book Esmeralda.

This overt song should bother me more but I like that the “Something more” is sing by one of the Goons who sings the line with regards to stealing more from people, which is cute. But it’s sung well and the music is fun. So sure it’s dumb but it’s sort of delightful and short.

In most other versions the order of these songs is a little different. It goes Être Prétre et aimer une Femme, Phoebus, then Je te reviens vers toi and finally La Monture. Both orders make a level of sense but I prefer the original, it just always seemed odd to me that Frollo would sings about loving a woman right after he tortured her, but the order made sense to someone.

Phoebus

Esmeralda as Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris  Phoebus picture image

Helene Segara as Esmeralda singing Phoebus

Phoebus is Esmeralda’s plea to the aforementioned. She bittersweetly asks him to save her and gives some exposition about how the man in black stabbed him. She then begs him to at least remember her.

It’s a pretty yet simple song that has a lovely melody that has wave like quality.

Être Prétre et aimer une Femme (To be a Priest and to love a woman)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo singing Etre Pretre et aimer une Femme

Être Prétre et aimer une Femme lifts a lots of its lines from Frollo’s confession to Esmeralda in the jail, so basically I love this song and what is so great about Notre Dame de Paris is that we get two instances of the jail scene, so yay.

This song has a lot of power and moving lines. Frollo is a preist and therefore not free to love a woman but he can’t help it because as he stifled his emotions, he has no power to fight them when they are super strong.

The songs also makes it seem that Frollo’s “love” for Esmeralda is not just lust-based, he seems to love is some weird twisted way. This is in constast to other versions and even some versions of Notre Dame de Paris and it really could just come down to Daniel Lavoie’s acting.

The melody is also great. It has a great off-kilter tone that is still pretty which suits Frollo.

La Monture (The Mounting)

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys singing La Monutre

La Monture is Fleur-de-Lys’ big number. It’s the songs that really drives home her personality which all the versions is the biggest is this musical. Pending on what version of the musical you are watching this songs is vastly differnet because of the order of song and the staging.

In the original, Fleur-de-Lys sings this song to herself/shadow. This looks cool on the DVD but perhaps to an audience it doesn’t have the same effect so they changed the staging. What is nice about her singing to herself is it makes her look desperate and at her limits and it also makes her asking for Esmeralda’s death seem like it has a pathos because she at the end of her rope and can’r cope with Phoebus anymore. There is no doubt that she means it, she wants Esmeralda dead as there is a just spitefulness in her voice.

The other staging has Fleur-de-Lys singing directly to Phoebus after he sings Je te reviens vers toi. She singings in less a desperate, spiteful way and more in a sexual way. Basically she doesn’t believe Phoebus‘ song even though Phoebus says in his song that Esmeralda will die (at least in the French and English version), though in English he asks Fleur-de-Lys what me must to to get back with her. This staging make Fleur-de-Lys more calculating, cruel and cold. She is more in control of herself and Phoebus and she uses her leverage to get what she wants, the competition dealt away with.

I think it comes down to preference. One staging gives Fleur-de-Lys a little more sadness as she in not as in control of herself or her emotions and the other gives her power and control but she uses it to ensure someone’s death.

Now as far as the song its self goes, because I almost forgot to discuss the song, silly me. It’s great. Like some other songs at this point in the show it has that off-kilter prettiness and Fleur-de-Lys‘ sweet voice is a great contrast to the horrors that she is singings. It’s is Fleur-de-Lys‘ best song in the show, which isn’t REALLY saying that much since it like three but it’s great non the less.

Je te reviens vers toi (I return to you)

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys and Patrick Fiori as Phobues performing Je te reviens vers toi Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys and Patrick Fiori as Phobues performing Je te reviens vers toi

I REALLY hate this song. It’s mean. Phoebus sings about how he is returning to Fleur-de-Lys and he is all better now. Since it’s clear that Phoebus is lying it probabdly why they switch the songs around but Esmeralda is going to die and yet Fleur-de-Lys is like, “ok makes she does,” not sure why that would have been hard for Phoebus, but even about the order changes.

I dunno this song just seemed mean but it does showoff Phoebus‘ singing and has a nice powerful beat. It’s the subject matter that is detestable and so is Phoebus.

Fun Fact – Patrick Fiori once made the mistake of saying “From the Deeps of you, it’s me I still love” instead of ‘From the Deeps of me it’s you I still love,” pardon my bad translation I only took a year of French but it’s a silly mistake that I could see a Phoebus saying.

Je reviens vers toi

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

Le Portes de Paris (The Gates of Paris)

Gringoire singing Le Portes de Paris Bruno Pelletier Notre dame de paris picture image

Gringoire singing Le Portes de Paris

This song is kind of funny and I don’t mean like it’s hilarious, I mean this song set-ups a trend in Notre Dame de Paris that is very clear in all three of these songs. Where the plot and story are reduced to one or two lines of song over setting up mood or emotion. Typically this is fine but in this chunk of the overall story we kind of need story being told.

In Les Portes de Paris, Gringoire tells us he met a girl, followed her and lost her. That’s it. It’s like drive-by exposition. I mean if you don’t know he meant Esmeralda, would you REALLY know he meant her? The rest of the song tells us Paris is a dark and sexy place. It’s very moody and Gringoire is a delight in the song but alas isn’t a little more than forgettable.

Tentative d’enlèvement (Kidnap Attempt)

Phoebus and Esmeralda Tentative d'enlevement Helene Segara Patrick Fiori Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Phoebus and Esmeralda

Ah, yet another song to make that worst list, at number six. First off what the fuck? This song depicts the critical scene where Quasimodo tries and kidnap Esmeralda. This is also the scene in the book where Esmeralda and Phoebus meet for the first time. And it just all so sloppy in Notre Dame.

So when Quasimodo goes in for the kidnap, Esmeralda is in mid-run from some weird extra, so it just looks like she is running from the other guy and not even Quasimodo, so that ruins it.

However that not even the tip of the messed up-ness of Tentative d’enlèvement. When Phoebus saves Esmeralda he puts the moves on her and she rebuffs him, telling him he as gotten the wrong girl as Esmeralda isn’t a soldier-girl. So then what happens? He tells he he’ll meet her at a brothel the “Cabaret de Val d’amour.” And for whatever that line worked and she’s now like Phoebus, in fact later on she says her heart beats for him, but I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s just like what! In under two minutes the ruined a very pivotal scene.

The music for the song is okay, it has a nice mystery and dark tone but it’s not enough to save the song.

La Cour des Miracles (The Court of Miracles)

Luck Mervil as Clopin from Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Luck Mervil as Clopin from Notre Dame de Paris



At last another big number. La Cour des Miracles tells us about the Court of Miracles and Clopin’s outlook on the world as a world without much divide of status and religion. Then there is the drive-by exposition where Gringoire just literally pops in, is hanged in a bag, which looks like fun and married off. Any humor of the scene is gone.

As far of the song itself, it’s fun and has good enegry. I do like Clopin singing it off a gilder from the ceiling. Not a favorite song of mine but far from the worst. I kind of wish that the camera guy got more of Gringoire and Esmeralda dancing.

Speaking of Esmeralda and Gringoire, other version added lines for them, where Esmeralda tells him that she is not into him which the next song did anyway so it was a weird addition.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xtrptkenZA&spfreload=10

Julie Zenatti played Fleur de Lys in the original Notre Dame de Paris cast

I mention that I would post some Christmas stuff I like. This by no mean everything just things I feel like mentioning quickly.

This is Eivør Pálsdóttir singing Dansaðu Vindur. It was adapted from the Swendish Eurovision song Den Vilda. This song was a hit in 2013 when it came out. And it’s on the Frostrósir album

Eivør is one of my favorite singers. Here she is singing in Icelandic but she in a lot of other languages including English. It’s just a pretty Christmas song.

Melody Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody

The last song of the Enchanted Tales Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is weird and stupid.

Random People  Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Random People

This song comes out no where and adds nothing to the story. It comes right after the crappy moral about pretty people don’t have to worry about looks and after the song the characters don’t register the song at all. This song is just filler to meet the company’s four song quota. The sad part this song is the most energetic and musically interesting.

Paganini a.k.a Melody's enchanted annoying violin Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Paganini a.k.a Melody’s enchanted annoying violin

I can’t really make out the lyrics of the what they are singing but it’s some like “Life will Life will alive” or something. The song is about positivity and stuff. It doesn’t really work with what is happening in the narrative, I mean why should Quasimodo or Melody be bummed now, they’re pretty. (Edit- Thanks to Hulu, they are actually saying “Life will arrive.”)

Sun and Clouds  Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Sun and Clouds

Aside from the lyrics being unquestionably stupid, the visual are super stupid. Most of the visuals are just repeat animation from the first song and when they have no animation like people dancing or clouds they repeat it too. Really this song is better when you just listen it.

Random People  Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Random People

Really the best part of this song is the musical orchestration. Not kidding it’s pretty ok. It has a fun Spanish vibe. This just has a stronger enegry than they rest and it a shame it was wasted and a filler song that didn’t add anything or was even acknowledge by the story of the character.

Melody sings Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody sings

With this song we have a good music and the rest is stupid.

Next Time – The Animation (gag)

Melody's mouth is gone, This has not been altered, this native in the movie Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody’s mouth is gone, This has not been altered, this native in the movie