“Dear Evan Hansen” soundtrack astonishes listeners

An Arrowhead Theater Review: Released on July 10, 2015, the “Dear Evan Hansen” soundtrack has stunned the world of Broadway. The show addresses teen suicide and mental health issues head on like never shown on Broadway before, through a touching musical score and plot.

Every day, millions of people listen to Broadway musical soundtracks. Each musical has a different effect on the listener. On July 9, 2015, “Dear Evan Hansen” was performed for the first time, leaving the audience electrified with its groundbreaking story.
“Dear Evan Hansen” opened on Broadway in 2016 and immediately amazed an international audience. The breathtaking show won six Tony Awards in 2017 including Best Musical.
Written by Justin Paul, Benj Pasek and Steven Levenson, the show highlights a lonely high school student, Evan, who struggles with social anxiety.
“Dear Evan Hansen” opens with the song “Anybody Have A Map?” which is performed by characters Cynthia and Heidi, who are both moms of teenage boys. Both mothers express their struggles of connecting with their sons throughout the song. The original soundtrack features Rachel Bay Jones (Heidi Hansen) and Jennifer Laura Thompson (Cynthia Murphy).
Both singers demonstrate great harmonization throughout this song. The instrumentals do a wonderful job setting the mood of the show.
Listeners are introduced to Evan Hansen’s personality and inner feelings during the song “Waving Through A Window,” performed by Ben Platt in the soundtrack. The song exhibits strong emotion of loneliness and includes clever lyrics such as “I’ve learned to slam on the brake before I even turn the key.”
When fellow student Connor Murphy dies by suicide, Evan ends up fabricating a deep friendship between him and Connor in order to bond with Connor’s family. Evan falls deeper into this lie as he becomes extremely close with the Murphy family, including his crush, Zoe Murphy.
As Evan tells the Murphy family stories of him and Connor, he is accompanied by the sorrowful yet delightful song “For Forever.” Evan paints a picture of the perfect day with Connor during this amazing song. It is filled with lyrics that listeners can relate to with friendships such as “quoting songs by our favorite bands…telling jokes no one understands except us two.” The song builds into a heartfelt ballad with symbolism.
The song “Sincerely Me” is performed when Evan and his friend Jared are compiling believable emails to make it seem like Evan and Connor were friends. The song is extremely fun and contains amusing comic relief and dancing.
As the play goes on, listeners eventually experience the perspective of Zoe Murphy, Connor’s sister who refuses to mourn her brother’s death. This is powerfully displayed in the song “Requiem” where Laura Dreyfuss shows off her impressive belt.
As time goes on, some students along with Evan create “The Connor Project” in order to keep Connor’s memory alive. The inspiring song “Disappear” is a pivotal point in the plot in which The Connor Project is introduced. The project becomes hugely successful, but eventually the truth comes out about the fake friendship.
A truly iconic song in the soundtrack appears at the end of Act 1 in the show where Evan gives a touching speech about his loneliness and Connor. “You Will Be Found” highlights the most impactful lyrics of the show.
As Ben Platt sings “even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you, and when you’re broken on the ground, you will be found.” This song is known to be a tearjerker and it creates a beautiful ending to the first act as the audience sympathizes with Evan.
Later in the show, the truth comes out and Evan tries to apologize and explain what he has done through the song “Words Fail.” This song features each character filled with anger, confusion and despair. Ben Platt also displays his fascinating falsetto ability during this song.
The show closes with the song “Finale” which is a peaceful and resolving song with amazing dynamics and vocal blending.
The show captures multiple aspects of mental health, family, relationships and friendships. According to composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, they worked on the show for six years. “We wanted to create a show that felt poetic, but also felt fresh and relevant,” Paul said.
Altogether, “Dear Evan Hansen” is a breathtaking soundtrack that displays high quality broadway vocals, instrumentals, and writers. The plot is clever and relevant to the times. This soundtrack is a must-hear and this show is a must-see.