Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cast Album Discoveries: The Toxic Avenger

In my first grouping of 10 cast recordings to listen to as part of this project, this was the only one that I just didn't like at all. With music and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, The Toxic Avenger has a really dismal cast recording, with forgettable music and obvious, lowest-common-denominator lyrics. They're clearly trying to do something like the self-aware (and very funny) Evil Dead musical, but it all falls flat here, with incredibly predictable tunes that hinge entirely on having a third-grade sense of humor. (I've just looked up the writers of this musical and it turns out they also collaborated to write Memphis, which I don't know well but which has... won Tonys and stuff for being great. So apparently they do have some talent, it's just not on display here.)

The show is based on the 1984 movie, which I have never seen, and tells the story of a nerdy scientist trying to clean up the toxic waste from his state. He ultimately gets dumped into a vat of said toxic waste and develop superpowers. He falls in love, unseats a government conspiracy, and everything worked out.

As I said, though, this cast album is bad. I was looking forward to it because I often love campy sci fi stories, but these songs were so awful I was able to speed listen through this because after just one or two listens to a song, I could practically sing it back to you because they were so unoriginal there weren't any surprises.

Because of how unlikable this cast album is, I couldn't come up with a top five, but there is one song in the show that isn't as terrible as the rest. The one piece of "that's all right" in a pile of crap is the song "You Tore My Heart Out," whose lyrics are still pretty sloppy but not distractingly bad, and the melody is actually quite pretty. As a whole, however, the cast album is a mess and not worth listening to. At all. And I'm glad I never have to listen to it again.

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