Step up ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for! You may remember going to see the The Greatest Showman in theaters during the holidays last year, but the movie’s soundtrack has been given a new life. As announced last month, The Greatest Showman has a cover album and it’s filled with tons of eclectic music talent singing your favorite songs from the film.
Following the critical acclaim of the music in La La Land, Oscar-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s next project became The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya and Rebecca Ferguson. The larger-than-life musical loosely based on the life of circus manager, P.T. Barnum may not have dazzled most critics but it quickly became a cult favorite, cashing in $400 million at the worldwide box office. The smash hit is primarily known for its catchy tunes and remarkable performances.
The Greatest Showman: Reimagined is a stunning tribute to the musical’s melodies, and is made just for the fan who knows all the words to the original soundtrack and is hungry for an encore. It’s stacked with popular artists from a variety of genres and overall has an impressive selection of covers to please fans. Some of the new songs are so good that they soar high over the original recordings. Check out which ones upstage the likes of Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams below!
The Greatest Show
The beginning of The Greatest Showman begins just like a stage musical, with a stunning and exciting song and dance number to hype up the audience and introduce the feel of the show. It’s a great way to start a movie musical because it pushes audiences into the deep end of the genre right away. Hugh Jackman’s P.T. Barnum joyfully starts off the show with this track in the movie but the Reimagined album kicks it up a notch.
With one listen to Panic! At The Disco’s cover of “The Greatest Show,” you’ll likely be wondering, ‘Was this song written for Brendon Urie’s voice?’ The pop punk frontrunner fits right in with the movie’s big opener as its energizing sound surges and builds into its chorus. Panic! At The Disco easily makes this “The Greatest Show” their own and enhances the lavish feel of the song with its bigger and bolder sound.
Another memorable track in The Greatest Showman early in the film is “Come Alive,” also with Hugh Jackman front and center. In the song, Barnum is giving the new circus performers the confidence to get out there and perform. It’s one of many high-energy tracks that can easily help put a smile on anyone’s face with one listen.
When British breakout talents Years & Years and Jess Glynne get ahold of the track for the Reimagined album, the power of the words “Come Alive” aren’t a mere suggestion, they are instantly spoken into existence as the new beat drops. Years & Years’ lead singer Olly Alexander gives off some serious Michael Jackson vibes and his vocals add some additional soul to each lyric, while Jess Glynne is a great match for Alexander’s voice.
This Is Me
“This is Me” is the central track of The Greatest Showman for its powerful lead vocals by Keala Settle, positive message of embracing who you are and unforgettable sequence on screen. It earned the 2017 movie musical an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe win for Best Original Song. Turns out the album highlight can strike gold twice, just by adding Missy Elliott and Kesha to Settle’s already flawless performance.
The cover track titled “This is Me (Reimagined Remix)” opens with new spoken word lyrics delivered by Missy Elliott who captures the spirit of the song by adding lines such as “They can’t stop you, or block you or mock you” and “You have a purpose.” The song then hands it off to Kesha and Keala Settle who strengthen the song with their duet that’s sure to send some chills down your spine. This track is perfect proof that the Reimagined album seeks to make the songs of the movie more universal and relatable through a cover such as this one.
In The Greatest Showman, Barnum’s wife Charity played by Michelle Williams gets her own solo song called “Tightrope.” The emotional ballad has Charity watch her husband leave with the beautiful and talented Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson) on the road, while she stays with their two daughters and simply misses him. As Williams sings, the song also parallels to the rocky relationship between Anne (Zendaya) and Phillip (Zac Efron).
Sorry Charity, when Sara Bareilles comes in with her melancholy piano and iconic vocals, I surrender. Her iteration takes some creative liberties by turning the typical musical solo into a stripped-down track with dreamy notes in the background. The chorus is more epic and poignant in this version than the original, but of course builds upon the context of the memorable scene in The Greatest Showman.
From Now On
“From Now On” is the final song in The Greatest Showman and marks an incredible ending to the movie. The track has Hugh Jackman’s vocals at their best, not to mention it includes that scene when he runs to catch a train as he delivers them. The song is filled to the brim with heart and makes for a moving finale for the movie musical.
For “From Now On,” I’m going to draw the line between the cover not being better but simply extremely well “reimagined” by Zac Brown Band. As much of these songs do, it seamlessly bends the show tune into working in a completely new genre and still working just as well. The song becomes refined into a country folk track with a completely different feel to it.
As a whole, the cover album breathes some new life into the songs of The Greatest Showman. The above songs impress over their originals but also show how incredible the songs were to begin with. Some other memorable songs from the musical such as “Million Dreams,” “Rewrite the Stars” and “Never Enough” also feature some impressive covers, but the first recordings still reign over them. The Greatest Showman: Reimagined cover album is currently available to stream or own.