Sunday, February 05, 2006

All Shook Up

“All Shook Up” is the musical which includes 24 Elvis hits. At first, I didn’t think it was possible to construct a storyline using songs that don’t even go together. But, Joe DiPietro, who wrote the book and lyrics for “I Love you, You’re Perfect Now Change”, was able to do it without even changing many lyrics to the songs. However, there is a very odd and unexpected ending to the musical. If you just listened to the cd and haven’t read the plot or seen the musical, you would think there is no plot.

“Love Me Tender”- Starting with a ballad is kind of odd for a musical, but Jenn Gambatese has a beautiful and powerful voice and pulls it off well. The piece begins with a short verse, just a couple measures, so could just be an intro. Then repeats the chorus twice. A very short piece but introduces the character.

“Heartbreak Hotel”- The piece starts with a single voice then a couple voices are added and finally the whole ensemble is in unison. There is just one chorus in the piece that is repeated multiple times, but varied each time. In the last chorus, no longer is the ensemble in unison but it is sung in full chords, which gives the piece a dramatic effect.

“Roustabout”-Most songs on the album have a gospel feel, but this is more like a rock song with a guitar and drum accompaniment. The accompaniment sounds like “Born to Hand Jive” from Grease.

“One Night with you”- There are moments of silence in this piece between verses and the chorus which add a neat effect. A very short and simple AABA layout.

“C’mon Everybody”- My favorite song on the album, mainly for the energy and the added harmonies. The same harmonies are added in many of the pieces, but they’re neat harmonies nonetheless. The chords are very full. Clapping and snapping also adds a different texture to the piece. The piece is often call and response. Cheyenne Jackson sings and the ensemble then responds.

“Teddy Bear/Hound Dog”- Cheyenne Jackson begins with singing that he wishes Jenn would be his teddy bear. She then replys that he is nothing but a hound dog and sings through that melody. Then they put the two together which worked quite well. The melodies were altered to fit harmonically together, but it works overall. And, of course the ensemble is also added in the end.

“That’s All Right”- Just about every song is sung by the two leads and ensemble, but this is sung by voices with different timbres than heard previously. In the last chorus the ensemble chimes in just like every song on this album.

“Devil in Disguise”- This piece has a gospel feel. There is a lead singing and a gospel choir which repeats what ever the lead sings. This song also has very few lyrics. “He’s the devil in disguise” is repeated throughout many times.

“It’s Now or Never” – We go from gospel to a latin feel. There is a prominent latin beat with a trumpet throughout. There is a basic chorus, first sung by the guy then girl and then together with harmony and ensemble. The last three chords are descending fifths sung by Cheyenne and Jenn which sound really neat.

“Blue Suede Shoes”- Just for fun, I played this song and Elvis’ version at the same time using a different player to see the similarities. They matched up great, almost exactly the same including the bridge for a guitar solo. Until the end, when the ensemble joined in and the song was completely rearranged.

“Don’t Be Cruel”- To begin this piece, Cheyenne begins by clapping the rhythm of the whole piece a couple times and sings with his clapping. The next time he repeats the melody, the instruments take over the rhythm.

“Can’t Help Falling in Love”- When listening to this, I prominently noticed the huge direct modulation, tempo change, and added ensemble to end the piece with a bang.

“All Shook Up”- AABA bridge BAA .Very simple melody repeated multiple times with a couple of sequential modulations at the end.

“A Little Less Conversation”- One of my favorite Elvis songs, however some of his songs worked in a Broadway arrangement and some didn’t, this not being one that didn’t. The words are enunciated too much, it is just too crisp and clear. The complete opposite of Elvis.

“The Power of My Love”- The bass for the whole song is based on the alternation of Do-Fa-Mi-Do and Do-So-Fa-Do. It starts out as a ballad but soon changes to a more upbeat tempo when more voices are added.

“Jailhouse Rock”- The verses and chorus can be distinguished easily from the fact that the verse is just made up of V-I chords and very few instruments and one voice and then many instruments and voices join in for the chorus.

“Fools Fall in Love”- another song that starts out as a solo ballad and transforms into a full chorus power ballad through a modulation.

“Burning Love” – ABABACBBB is the form where the A is the verse and B is the chorus. The chorus is repeated so many times and I’m sure during the bows as well. It will probably be stuck in my head all day.

Overall, I noticed that the c.d. lacked in ballads, most songs were upbeat and energetic. Also, most songs were for the full ensemble, there weren’t many solo and duet songs. The songs began to sound alike near the end; it just needed a bit more variety.

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