Just saw a new TV spot for the upcoming movie Sweeney Todd and decided to visited the site which has been updated with clips from the songs. Somewhat of an exciting find for a day which has been pretty lousy. Here’s my preliminary review of what I heard on the site. My guess is that many purists will hate most of it because it is different from the Broadway musical, but I suppose I’m more forgiving… or just not a purist. Of course it’s going to be different from the stage version! (I thought the revival with the bald Sweeney and Patti LuPone as Lovett and all the cast members playing instruments sounded horrible. The movie will surely be better than that dismal conception.)
The songs are obviously not completely edited… there are silent moments in which the music plays but no one sings… in the movie there will be dialog filling these gaps. So I’m probably pre-judging these clips as they do sound like rough cuts indeed.
A Little Priest: Helen Bonham Carter is better than LuPone in my opinion. Nobody can beat Angela Lansbury in the role of Mrs. Lovett, but I think Lansbury would be too old at this point and would make the film very weird. They’d have to use CGI to get her to look young again, and that would look even weirder. But Carter doesn’t sound bad at all. She sounds more mysterious than Lansbury; Lansbury was a bit more… wacky, but Carter sounds more deceptively kind. I’d love to eat her meat pies, she sounds so welcoming. God, that’s good! Johnny Depp as Sweeney doesn’t sound too bad in this song, but still bad. I hate how he speaks “I’ll come again when you have judge on the menu” and his voice just sounds too much like he wants to be a pop or rock star… he hardly ever hits the notes purely, he puts all these weird inflections on them. I don’t know much about singing, and Depp is singing better than I could, but it still bothers me.
By The Sea: Here I wish Carter would use a little more vibrato. Her nonvibrato makes the notes sound plain.
Epiphany: This is a great song in the Broadway musical, but here Depp rips it to shreds with his horrible attempt at singing. When he sings the word “die” I feel like I’m dying. After listening enough I can get used to it and focus on the melody and the lyrics, but it proves to me that Depp, as the main character, is the worst singer in the production. 🙁 Why, Burton? Why?!
Green Finch: Now that’s refreshing. Probably the best singer in this production is Johanna, better than whoever was in the original Broadway.
Johanna: Yikes! I wasn’t expecting Anthony Hope’s voice to be so high, but it still sounds good. No way anyone’s voice can sound as bad as Depp’s anyway.
No Place Like London: Well, Depp doesn’t sound as bad as in “Epiphany” at least.
Pirelli’s Miracle Elixer: Yikes again! I didn’t expect Toby to be so young as he wasn’t in the Broadway, but the character is actually supposed to be young, isn’t he? It’s great that the kid playing Toby is a better singer than Depp. They should have used him in the last Pirates movie as the kid who breaks out in song before being hung. I was disappointed though because it seems this song was really shortened. It speeds up at a very inappropriate time. It’s one of the most catchy songs in the musical, why cut this one short? 🙁 Why, Burton?! Next time, ask me for advice.
Pretty Women: Ugh! Snape’s not a very good singer either… er… I mean Alan Rickman. I can’t decide which one’s worse, Depp or Rickman.
Worst Pies in London: I think the bass should be louder on the “blats” when Lovett is squishing bugs and pounding the dough, but a good song overall.
Unfortunately I think my favorite song from the musical, “Kiss Me”, was cut. The song had a wonderful catchy melody and delicious counterpoint, along with some hilarious lyrics. 🙁 I am sad.
Overall, the orchestration also great. I just wish the songs weren’t cut so short though. 🙁
I still can’t wait to see it. Short songs are better than no songs.
Oh, I also don’t like how Sweeney’s hair looks like Cruella DeVil’s.