CD Review: HEAD OVER HEELS (Original Broadway Cast Recording on Masterworks Broadway)

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by Eve Meadows on December 6, 2018



Head Over Heels is an exhilarating and seemingly improbable musical mash-up of Sir Philip Sidney’s sixteenth-century work The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (libretto by James Magruder, adapting from an original book conceived by Jeff Whitty) and the songs of the iconic 1980s’ female rock band, The Go-Go’s (and a few tunes from Belinda Carlisle’s solo career). With its Elizabethan-age camp and electric, pulsing beat, this musical tackles today’s most progressive social issues of sexuality, gender and love with vibrant aplomb. And the Original Broadway Cast Recording is absolutely delightful.

You wouldn’t think that bringing together Elizabethan romance with 1980s’ pop punk (“We Got the Beat,” “Heaven Is a Place on Earth,” “Mad About You”) would work, but it does. Head Over Heels is an unpredictable, jam-packed, raucous tale full of dance and a steady beat. The music manages to be both contemporary and old fable, winking at the audience all the while. Kimberly Grigsby’s all-female band is excellent executing Tom Kitt’s (Next to Normal) arrangements.

In total, 18 of the Go-Go’s iconic hit songs are here on 20 tracks, including “Get Up and Go,” “Cool Jerk,” “Vacation,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Lust to Love,” and the title track. The 20th track is an exclusive new recording of one of the band s most popular songs, “This Town,” which marks their first studio recording in more than 17 years since their fourth studio album God Bless The Go-Go’s (2000).

photos by Joan Marcus

Head over Heels
Original Cast Recording
Masterworks Broadway (Sony)
released November 9, 2018 | 20 tracks | 54:20
available on AmazoniTunes, and Masterworks Broadway

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