Why does KINKY BOOTS album sound so uninspiring?

forgetmenotnyc Profile Photo
I haven't seen KINKY BOOTS yet but after hearing the cast album I no longer have any interest. The first couple of cuts made me feel excited about the possibility but then the whole thing sunk into an insipid theme park sounding show with no inventiveness/uniqueness. Does the show have incidental music that was left out of the cast album that would have given a better sense of the live stage show? Am I wrong to make a judgement based on listen alone? Is it just one of those shows that you need to see in-person in order to really appreciate it's interesting story? What cuts in the later 80% should I try and give another listen to? I mean, this WAS the Tony-award winning score from this past season. Fans of the score, please help me re-access it's value?

Updated On: 10/29/13 at 11:02 PM
Jay Lerner-Z Profile Photo
Jay Lerner-Z
Broadway Legend
Shows are always better live in a theatre, but if you really think it's insipid and unoriginal then you are unlikely to enjoy the show. Bearing in mind the high prices, it's probably best you skip it. I love it, myself. Different strokes and all that.
Up In One Profile Photo
Up In One
Leading Actor
Agree with Jay Lerner you should sit this one out you'll only go in with attitude.
Broadway Star
I can attest that the music is 1000x better live. I honestly think they produced it as a pop album. There is much more bass and percussion that drives tempo live than what is present on the album (especially in "Land of Lola" and "Sex is in the Heel"). The lyrics, however, are not different so if that's your beef then maybe skip it. I loved the show. It's sad that was the way the show was preserved. I'd give anything for a live recording at some point.
Broadway Legend
I agree it's much much better live .......and some of the enjoyment I do get out of the album now is based on my memories of the show (which I have seen more than once).

I personally think it's worth the visit but again it's a lot of money - so it's your choice. But for me, Kinky Boots on stage is special because of the whole package... not just the score.

Broadway Star
Most any score is better heard and performed live than on recording. Except for "The History of Wrongs Guys," the songs are pretty pedestrian IMHO. MATILDA really should have won the Tony in that category.

Updated On: 10/30/13 at 07:52 AM
EponineAmneris Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
KINKY BOOTS is a very visual show, so it comes across MUCH better live and in context... as do all shows IMHO
forgetmenotnyc Profile Photo
Reading your comments about the importance of seeing this one live has proven to be very reassuring. Especially TheatreKid3's "I honestly think they produced it as a pop album" & mamaleh's "songs are pretty pedestrian...Matilda should have really won the Tony re Score." I don't generally listen to show recordings beforehand & see why now? I didn't really give it a serious listen to re: lyrics. Just kinda glossed over it during dinner with a friend - expecting it to jump out at us with theatrical novelty & to provide motivation to get later tickets & go (which obviously didn't work.) Thank you.
Broadway Legend
I really hate that every discussion about Kinky Boots winds up discussing Matilda in some way. They are different shows entirely and the music should be totally different.

Kinky Boots is about simple working class people in England... the music works for the characters. And that's what theater music is supposed to be, right? Music that is appropriate for the show and the characters that sing the songs.
forgetmenotnyc Profile Photo
I don't have the perspective of following previous threads, KathyNYC2, so I had no idea that every time Kinky Boots score gets discussed that Matilda comes up. Matilda's score drew me in (saw it/loved it) whilst Kinky Boots pushed me away (haven't seen it/will now because of this.) I personally like Broadway for theatrical sounding things so that is where I'm coming from - nothing to do with analyzing the appropriate nature of people/characters yet.
GilmoreGirlO2 Profile Photo
Broadway Star
I think the reason “Matilda” always comes up when discussing the merit of the “Kinky” score has less to do with the fact that they were the two biggest contenders up for the award, but more to do with the fact that many found the scores to be in completely different categories (not in style, but in quality).

Kinky Boots is about simple working class people in England... the music works for the characters. And that's what theater music is supposed to be, right? Music that is appropriate for the show and the characters that sing the songs.

For me, the biggest reason I didn’t like the score for “Kinky” was because I didn’t think the music was specific to the characters in any way. I thought you could have, easily, built a whole other story around the songs and they could work as well as they do for the “Kinky” story. The songs in “Matilda,” on the other hand, to me, truly help to understand the characters better and enhance the show. The “Kinky” score was fine in performance, but I can’t say I thought it was worthy of any recognition. Also, to me, when I am comparing the two, the fact that they have different styles doesn’t prevent me from being able to determine which one I find more worthy (and, this is coming from someone who usually enjoys pop scores very much).

But, to the OP, the “Kinky” recording, I will say, is awful and does make the score sound much worse than it is. And, many times scores can be appreciated much more with more context. However, I still found the songs to be generic in performance.
bwaydreamer Profile Photo
The cast album sounds uninspired because the show is uninspired.
Bland, generic and unimaginative. I will say that the show is more fun to see than to hear. I did have a good time at it, but listen to the album does the show no favors unless you want to hear "everybody say yeah" 1000 times in a row.
themysteriousgrowl Profile Photo
Broadway Legend

I grew less and less interested in this show as the creative details emerged. So, that’s a bias I’ll I cop to. But then listening to the Amazon clips killed any potential interest that might have gathered for me. It’s a show I’d consider seeing somewhere down the line, when there’s absolutely nothing else I’m interested in and just feel like going to a musical.

Then again, that’s what happened to me with BILLY ELLIOT, and I ended up loving it. So one can always be surprised.
Brian07663NJ Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I've seen shows and hated them only to love the cast album and vice versa.
I hated Kiss Me Kate when I saw the show but I enjoy the cast album.

I do not like the music to Kinky Boots and have not felt motivated at all to go see the show. Agree with others who have said "Pass" especially with the price of tickets...why go.

Not even sure I would want to go even if the ticket were free.
Up next: Apr 01 Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Apr 05 Charo at RamsHead OnStage; Apr 07 Lady Gaga at Roseland Ballroom; Apr 13 Amaluna next to Citi Field; Apr 18 Disney Junior at MSG Theatre; May 06 Aladdin; May 13 Artpop Ball Lady Gaga at MSG; Jun 07 Varekai in Bridgeport, CT Jul 12 1:30pm Side Show; Jul 12 8:30pm Fantasia w/National Symphony Orchestra; Aug 16 The Visit: Williamstown Festival
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
Why don't you try to go see the show and maybe then you would be suprised or not. I have "seen" Kinky Boots and I really liked it dispite such uninspired choreography by Jerry Mitchell who didn't deserve the Tony for his work here.
promisespromises2 Profile Photo
Broadway Star
I HATED the soundtrack before I went to see it. In fact, I didn't even listen to it all the way through because I got bored.

But seeing it live is such a beautiful experience. The atmosphere was excellent and inspiring. At the end, EVERYONE was standing on their feet singing and clapping along, and this was during a matinee showing.

The cast is wonderful as well, I loved Annaleigh in it.
dreaming Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I love the show, but I agree that the cast recording is underwhelming. The energy on the stage is much greater than is reflected on the recording. Ideally, this would have been recorded live, but that's a difficult process. I hardly listen to the recording because it doesn't come close to replicating the energy on stage.
newintown Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I also agree that the recording is worse than the live experience, but I wasn't really crazy about the live experience either. It's a flashy, loud, kinda fun show that ultimately feels like spiced up Velveeta. Lots of sentiment, not much real substance (for me).
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
This show is one of those rare instances where I like the CD more than I did the show. The music is kinda fun, but after the first viewing, I couldn't recall one song nor felt the need to see it again. I'll listen to a few of the tracks for fun, but it's not like they conjure up any special memories that inspire me to see the show again like other cast recordings often do.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
BwayGeek2 Profile Photo
I saw Kinky Boots before the release of the cast album and was looking forward to the OBCR, but I admit that I was underwhelmed. It's been mentioned a few times before, but for me the problem is definitely that it is overproduced.
goldenboy Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I think it sounds so uninspiring because everybody says Yeah! It makes me want to shout.
Broadway Legend
Because it's an uninspiring show with an uninspiring score. Period.
Mattbrain Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Oh THERE'S the block button.
Butters, go buy World of Warcraft, install it on your computer, and join the online sensation before we all murder you. --Cartman: South Park ATTENTION FANS: I will be played by James Barbour in the upcoming musical, "BroadwayWorld: The Musical."