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The Music Of Galavant

Alan Menken! Awesome music! Singing! Dancing! Here's a spot to talk about the music in Galavant!

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I think the enjoyment of the music would have been stronger if ABC had just limited the use of the Galavant theme to maybe just The Bachelor. 

 

I did like that the soldiers were all 'Wait, wha?" at Richard's singing line of "we'll start a genocidal war". That's what makes this fun.  Even the peasants and soldiers get to react to what other folks are saying out loud.

 

I am very glad Mr. Menken and his writing partner ( whose name keeps eluding me) got hold of this. In lesser hands, this could have been a total fail.

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Yes, the promo monkeys at ABC need to be flogged for Excessive Use of a Theme Song.

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I think the enjoyment of the music would have been stronger if ABC had just limited the use of the Galavant theme to maybe just The Bachelor. 

 

I did like that the soldiers were all 'Wait, wha?" at Richard's singing line of "we'll start a genocidal war". That's what makes this fun.  Even the peasants and soldiers get to react to what other folks are saying out loud.

 

I was already annoyed the first time they did it with the Bachelor.  I did laugh a little when they went into the musical The Middle promo right after it.  But doing the ABC promos to the opening Galavant song was a bad idea.

 

With Richard's singing, I liked that Gareth was in the background demanding back up singing and dancing for the King.

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If Menken is there, I am there. I would listen to him do a musical about tax audits or fibromyalgia. 

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Don't forget the Qualifier, Milburn, it's part of what was cracking me up, Maybe You're Not the Worst Thing Ever.

 

I loved that :-) 

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Thanks for the heads-up, legaleagle--just downloaded it. Here's hoping there'll be more as the weeks progress.

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Favorite song of the night was "Hero's Journey" for me.

 

Me too. I especially loved Sid and Isabella's "very true" bits to Galavant's declarations that Madelena was married against her will. Also, Galavant's "Oh, I'm out of shape. My tummy hurts. That was a long song" made it for me.

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I'm having three issues at the moment. One, I think the melodies aren't that strong because this style doesn't play to Menken's strengths. He writes the most gorgeous ballads and underscoring. He can do more uptempo numbers but for me, they generally work because they're paired with strong lyrics. He doesn't have that in Glenn Slater. The lyrics are weak and the jokes are juvenile. I haven't been happy with Glenn Slater since hearing the lyrics he came up with for the adaptation of The Little Mermaid to the stage. I never bothered to watch that Home on the Range movie. My last issue is the vocals. I'd say the actor playing Galavant is the best singer in the bunch. The actor playing Isabella isn't bad but occasionally she sounds a little more pop than theatre to me and she's either holding back or she's too tentative. She keeps pulling back instead of pushing and singing out. Timothy Olmundson isn't fantastic but he's alright and Madalena is probably the weakest for me. It's not embarrassing but her placement is weird and she's the only one that makes me do a double take and wonder if that last note was sung properly vs. just not sung that strongly. I bring up the vocals because it makes it harder to judge the quality of a lot of the songs. 

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There's something about the title song that reminds me of "Good Morning, Baltimore" from Hairspray.  Which is weird because they're not the same at all.

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I'm having three issues at the moment. One, I think the melodies aren't that strong because this style doesn't play to Menken's strengths. He writes the most gorgeous ballads and underscoring. He can do more uptempo numbers but for me, they generally work because they're paired with strong lyrics. He doesn't have that in Glenn Slater. The lyrics are weak and the jokes are juvenile. I haven't been happy with Glenn Slater since hearing the lyrics he came up with for the adaptation of The Little Mermaid to the stage. I never bothered to watch that Home on the Range movie.

 

Oddly enough, while I'm not normally a big fan of Slater because his lyrics lack specificity or innovation, or are just weird, I think he's doing some of his best work here. "And though there's something scary, behind your cold dead eyes" cracks my shit up. Or maybe I'm just comparing this to his worst work, from Love Never Dies. The romantic reunion duet for Christine and The Phantom, "Beneath A Moonless Sky" should not have made me laugh forever. 

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While we haven't got Galavant in Australia yet, and we better or I'm sending a stern letter to the network, I have been YouTube-ing the songs. And I must say I am really impressed with the wit of Slater's lyrics. Something I feel was missing with his previous 2 outings with Menken (ignoring his contributions to Mermaid). I haven't laughed at lyrics so much sicne hearing Book Of Mormon the first time. While I think Schwartz is a better fit for Menken at the moment, I must say these are some of the wittiest lyrics to a Menken composition since the Ashman days.

 

In regards to Menken's melodies, I initially was underwhelmed by them and slightly disappointed. Which was confusing for me as I am a massive Menken fan. But upon repeat listens, I think the problem is caused by not having access to a full blown orchestra (well to my ears it sounds like a little orchestra). I think the music needs a bit more oomph from the orchestra to really highlight Menken's work. Many of the songs do have memorable hook to them, like classic Menken so they can't be all that bad.

 

Here's hoping that the work of Galavant gets recognised and Menken can finally become an EGOT member.

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I keep watching "Hero's Journey" on YouTube and the ending makes me laugh every time. I also like how Isabella and Sid are really enjoying themselves too. I think they're perfect in their roles.

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I don't mind the lyrics since they're meant to be kinda dumb.  The episodes tonight seemed to have more talky singing, which I'm not as much of a fan of.  The Jester's singing voice was pretty weak.  The title song is really sticking in my head, but nothing else yet.  

 

I haven't seen/heard the Little Mermaid stage adaptation.  I did buy the Aladdin Broadway production recently and the lyrics from Menken's collaborator there (Chad Beguelin) were weak.  

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The episodes tonight seemed to have more talky singing, which I'm not as much of a fan of. The Jester's singing voice was pretty weak.

Comedy Gold was weak. I think the Jester's singing voice is good like in the theme song. He sound's better when he can belt out his lines rather than talk/sing them like he had to in this song. He sounded like he was struggling. It sounded like he was trying to reign it in.

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I think part of the issue is that the actor is Scottish.  During some of the pre-show press tour when they were introducing the show, there was a clip of him with Alan Menken and one of the producers.  He talked in his normal voice, which was a very thick Scottish accent.  The producer said that at his audition, they loved him but they couldn't understand him, so they called him back and told him to audition again but to use a typical upper English accent.  I've never fully understood why most English people don't sound English when they sing (they sound like Americans singing to me) but somewhere in there is probably why his "talking singing" voice in "Comedy Gold" sounds a little off.

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I've never fully understood why most English people don't sound English when they sing (they sound like Americans singing to me) but somewhere in there is probably why his "talking singing" voice in "Comedy Gold" sounds a little off.

 

Singing changes pacing and rhythm compared to speaking which makes the accent more neutral.  Outside of areas with heavy accents, like strong Southern, New Yorker, etc. accents, American accents are more neutral which is why singers tend to sound more American.

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Of course, singers are also trained to overenunciate words in order to make them sound clearer and more distinct.  That's why sometimes a trained American singer will almost sound British.

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I listened to the original version of "Galavant." I'm not sure how "cleavage you could hold a whole parade in" is less risqué than "a touch of nymphomania" so I wonder why they changed the lyrics.

 

And no matter how many times I watch "Hero's Journey" on YouTube or my DVR, I always laugh at "Oh shit, I'm out of shape. Oh, my tummy hurts. Woo, that was a long song."

Edited by SmithW6079.
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The music is a big part of what I love about the show!

 

Maybe you're not the worst thing ever".... come live with me in the hovel...tonight's song with the cook and the handmaiden.

 

Honestly I cannot listen to the songs w/o busting out in laughter and sheer pleasure at how the writers turned the 'love song' convention on it's head.

 

Kudos to the song writers - not every one is a hit of course, but then Rogers and Hammerstein couldn't claim that either.

 

Really creative funny stuff!

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I did like the cook and handmaiden's song this episode and I thought Ricky Gervais' number worked because there was no expectation of him singing well. Those numbers should be sprinkled in. They should not be the majority of the songs. I expect the main cast to sing while the comic relief can either sing well or poorly. I was only half watching so I didn't really catch the songs in the dungeon.

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I loved the Galabella ballad. It was unconventional, but it worked really well. I actually think I like it better than some of the love songs in the Disney movies.

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The soundtrack was released on iTunes today.  Here is the track listing:

 

1. "Galavant"   Ben Presley and the Cast of Galavant 2:21
2. "She'll Be Mine"   Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, and the Cast of Galavant 2:11
3. "Maybe You're Not the Worst Thing Ever"   Timothy Omundson, Mallory Jansen, Karen David, and Joshua Sasse 1:42
4. "Oy! What a Knight"   Faith Prince, Michael Brandon, Luke Youngblood, Karen David, and the Cast of Galavant 1:52
5. "Jackass in a Can"   Joshua Sasse and the Cast of Galavant 1:44
6. "Togetherness"   Joshua Sasse, Luke Youngblood, and Karen David 2:23
7. "Comedy Gold"   Ben Presley and Timothy Omundson 2:21
8. "Lords of the Sea (feat.Hugh Bonneville)"   Cast of Galavant 1:46
9. "No One But You"   Mallory Jansen 2:00
10. "Hey, Hey, We're the Monks (feat. "Weird Al" Yankovic)"   Cast of Galavant 1:16
11. "If I Could Share My Life With You"   Darren Evans and Sophie McShera 2:20
12. "A Day in Richard's Life (feat. Ricky Gervais)"   Cast of Galavant 2:47
13. "Love Is Strange"   Karen David and Joshua Sasse 1:43
14. "Goodnight My Friend"   Timothy Omundson 2:20

 

Booooooo to the fact that "Hero's Journey" isn't included.  This one is my favourite song, the way the three play off each other is great.  The end is great too, with Joshua Sasse holding that note for about 15 seconds and then gasping "[bleep] I'm out of shape.  My tummy hurts.  That was a long song."  Would have rather this song been included instead of the dreary and boring "No One But You".

 

The physical CD gets released on February 17.  No track listing yet, but I'm assuming it will be the same?

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No "Hero's Journey"? Seriously? That is the best song from the show. Maybe it will be on the physical CD as an incentive to buy the music twice.

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Like everyone else, I'm also upset that they did not include "Hero's Journey" on the soundtrack.

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How disappointing.  Why not just release everything on Itunes, and then make choices on the physical CD?  Isn't that what "Glee" did?  

Edited by Camera One.
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I'm echoing the disappointment for no Hero's Journey. Also, it's strange there's only one song from the last two episodes.

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I still don't understand why they couldn't release ALL songs from the series.  Many of the songs are only about 2 minutes long.  The 14 tracks listed clock in at a total of 28 minutes.  That's awfully skimpy for a physical CD they expect to release in stores at regular price.  I really really hope the actual CD has more songs.  Otherwise, I have no incentive to buy it, I'll just download the ones that I really like.

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Now that season 1 had officially ended:

Top 5 Favorite Songs:

1. Hero's Journey

2-5 in no particular order:

Galavant theme

Love is Strange

Secret Mission

Good Night My Friend

Honorable mention:

A day in Richard's Life (I liked the chorus, and constantly find myself singing "shut up youuu!!!"

Least Favorite:

Comedy Gold

Everything else was enjoyable but not memorable enough to find myself humming the tune.

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Is the fact this series aired in January, likely to hinder Menken's chance of a nomination come Emmy time? Or is the original song category so obsure that he and Glenn can sneak in a nom or two. I really would love Alan to become an EGOT member.

Edited by Bill1978.
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So, they're not going to release all songs? Disappointing.

 

My favorites:

 

1. You're not the worst thing ever

Just loved how this is basically your typical Disney ballad, but the silly lyrics give it a special twist.

 

2. Galavant Theme Song

So damn catchy.

 

3. Goodnight My Friend

A little bit of heart and emotion in-between the silliness.

 

4. Hero's Journey

I loved the bit with "Not true". So funny. I want it released as well!

 

5. Love is Strange

Another Disney ballad, which is why I like it, but not as tongue in cheek and clever as "Worst Thing Ever".

 

6. She'll Be Mine

Singing about decapitation is apparently funny to me.

 

7. No One But You

I love Madelena's narcissism and this is basically a classical musical number and I like that style.

 

8. Special Mission

Just a wonderfully amusing song.

 

9. My Moment in the Sun

I wish there had been a longer version of it. Joshua Sasse should have gotten his own (longer) song.

 

10. The Poison Song / If I could share my Life with you

Both are funny, but he overall style is kinda forgettable.

 

Honorable Mention:

Togetherness

Kinda forgettable, but okay.

 

All the other songs I didn't particularly care for, though I chuckled at the "not of the actual sea" and "we're the monk"-bits.

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The theme song is as earworm-y as an ABBA standard, so I hope it does its magic on the judges if submitted for Oscar consideration.

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1. "Galavant"   Ben Presley and the Cast of Galavant 2:21

 

Too bad it won't include all the reprises from later in that episode.

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Well, that's disappointing. Amazon had previously indicated a CD would be released on Feb 17. I was hoping it would have more songs than the ones released digitally. Now the CD is gone and the only things listed are the full digital album and the individual tracks.

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I'm going to remain optimisitic and say they are waiting until Volume 2 is released digitally and then release a physical version of Volume 1 and 2 on the same disc. I have to admit I was looking forward to the physical release as the soundtrack isn't available digitally in my country at the moment.

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I was just thinking... if this show had been successful, they might have made a stage production of this.  I can sort of imagine these 6 episodes strung together into a stage play.  

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When I know I watch too much TV:  As I listened to my broadway Pandora station this weekend, I found myself singing:
 

In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Galavaaahhnt.

 

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I was listening to the Beauty and the Beast broadway CD a few days ago for the first time in a long time, and part of the beginning of a song made me think the Galavant theme song was going to play.  

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