by Madeleine Chan, Staff Writer
I know what you’re thinking. They made a musical of . . . that? Despite being a big fan of the book series, I was also hesitant about this kind of adaptation. The films were a monstrosity that should be sent to the deepest depths of Tartarus. But, I promise you that this musical is not only a faithful and accurate adaptation, but has some very killer music as well.
Based on Rick Riordan’s best-selling novel, The Lightning Thief (Original Cast Recording) [Deluxe Edition] is an album which features all 19 songs from The Lightning Thief: A Percy Jackson Musical, plus five delightful bonus ones. The show tells the tale of Percy Jackson (Chris McCarrell), a kid who discovers that he’s half- Greek god half-mortal, and his quest to save his mom from the hellish Hades — all while trying to prevent a war amongst the gods.
To any who have not read the books, fear not, for the first song “Prologue/The Day I Got Expelled” lays down the overall premise of the show, which I very much appreciate. They cater to people who are already fans, but also don’t try to ostracize new ones. This inclusivity is also seen in the fact that most of the songs aren’t vitally dependent on the overarching story, so they can be listened to on their own. If you’re new to this world, the songs still have enough melodic uniqueness and substance to sustain just pure musical enjoyment.
The variety in melodic style also keeps the story interesting and alive. The songs range from fun rock romps like “Drive” and “Put You in Your Place” to heartfelt laments like “The Tree on the Hill.” There are even Ursula-esque villain speeches like “D.O.A.” that joke about Josh Groban eventually going to the underworld. In addition, great lyrics like “Normal is a myth/ Everyone has issues they’re dealing with” from “Strong” are emphasized by the music’s soft and comforting vibe, or whatever would suit the sentiment best.
Although I adore each song on the album, my favourite has to be “Good Kid,” Percy’s powerful solo. It’s a passionate rock-based number where Percy expresses how he doesn’t fit in and despite all the nonsense that happens to him, promises that he’s just a good kid. Along with the true-to-character lyrics, Rob Rokicki, the creator of the score, says the “buzzing of the electric guitar” at the top of the song resembles the bees in Percy’s head. Considering he has ADHD and dyslexia, this simple musical detail adds a ton of depth to an already exhilarating song.
Overall, this album showcases the true heart of the Percy Jackson series and reminds me why I love it so much. I strongly suggest listening to it if you like adventure, humour, Greek mythology, and of course the Percy Jackson series. In the meantime, when I’m not praying to the gods for the show’s recently announced 2020–2021 national tour to stop in Vancouver, I’ll be belting these tunes out to my heart’s content.