OST: The Color Purple (2005 Original Broadway Cast) / 2006 Angel / 29 Tracks / http://www.colorpurple.com / http://www.angelrecords.com / Reviewed 28 February 2006
The bouncy beat of each track on “The Color Purple” is something that will creep up on listeners and keep them up and going for hours after listening to this disc; 79 minutes of music will ensure that one’s day is continually joyful. A heavy dollop of gospel influence in all of these tracks coupled with a fancy-free instrumentation means that there are no shades of weakness to be found here. Many of the tracks operate in a snowball fashion; that is, the track may start off in a slow way, but by the end of the track everything but the kitchen sink is thrown in to make for the musical equivalent of a party. The musical version of “The Color Purple” is miles, hell even lightyears beyond the dreary Spielberg version of the movie. Everything is present here in 80 minutes that took Senor Spielburgo 154 minutes all those years ago.
Using more current R&B to really give a new coat of paint on the original novel, “The Color Purple” really is brilliant throughout. It is not just the incredible talent of each of the singers on this recording; the horns and active bass on each track really create an atmosphere that only serves to caress and highlight the vocals here. “Big Dog” is a perfect example of a rapid-shifting track that is so distracting that it actually pulled me from the review. In fact, the allure of each of the tracks on “The Color Purple” have make simply listening to the disc impossible.
Individuals have to listen, and they have to listen with all their attention; it is not an option only to pay partial attention. “Shug Avery Comin’ To Town” is the next big hit on “The Color Purple”; the back and forth nature of the track and the ability to never once break stride makes for a delirious three minutes. “Too Beautiful For Words” is one of those tracks that like “One Night In Bangkok” could conceivably have another life as a single; the vocal range present during the track allows for a palette of emotions to be shown. There may be a few intense focuses on this album in regards to the influences present, but there is nothing like that in regards to the types of individuals that can find something to love on this album. This disc should be a clarion call to pick up the book and to go see the musical as soon as possible.
Top Tracks: “Push Da Button”, “Big Dog”