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Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: Dear Evan Hansen Cast Album

I was already planning on writing a review of the Dear Evan Hansen cast album today since it's all I've been listening to since its digital release on February 3. But once I saw the news that the album debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200, I knew I made the right choice. In fact, it's the highest a cast album has debuted since 1961, joining just three other shows (Hair, Rent, and Hamilton) in the past fifty years to make it to the top ten.


This beautiful album, with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, tells the story of a teenager trying to navigate high school, mental health problems, and a viral story. As soon as I heard that, I knew it was the show for me and honestly my only regret is that I didn't have this album when I was in high school. If you don't know the story, I would recommend looking it up on Wikipedia before listening.

Ben Platt is simply stunning as Evan Hansen in songs like "For Forever" and "If I Could Tell Her." His performance on "Words Fail" brings me to tears every time I hear it and of course, "Waving through a Window" is breathtaking. I've never heard anything that so perfectly captured that feeling of being small and insignificant that so many of us experienced in high school.

Laura Dreyfuss shines as Connor Murphy's sister, Zoe, especially in "Only Us." Will Roland and Mike Faist are absolutely hilarious as Jared and Connor in "Sincerely, Me," which has actually become one of my favorite songs.

Other favorites include the haunting "Requiem" and inspiring "You Will Be Found."

I would highly recommend this album to anyone who remembers their own rough days in high school, is passionate about mental health, or loves Pasek and Paul's other work. Have you been listening to Dear Evan Hansen? If so, let me know your favorite song in the comments below.

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