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Before we get into it I'm sure we all know this film is historically inaccurate and P.T. Barnum is far from the loveable music man that is Hugh Jackman. Also, this film is perfectly serviceable but it's the songs that stand out more than anything.
Ok, enough preamble nonsense, which song do I like least?
12. "This Is Me (Dave Aude Remix)"
Put it in the bin.
This is literally the least imaginative remix I've ever heard.
Strap in for three and a half minutes of the same repetitive beat with a drop back into the same repetitive beat. Doesn't it make you want to dance? Or just skip it. Probably skip it. Boo.
11. "From Now On"
It's six minutes long and it doesn't deserve to be.
It works great mid-film, but I'm not watching the film. I'm just listening to music.
There's some decent lyrics like:
'These eyes will not be blinded by the lights'
The majority of the appeal comes strongly from the film's choreography and without that visual I don't feel this holds up very well.
10. "The Greatest Show"
It's so long and repetitive.
Hugh Jackman sounds great.
Everyone does to be fair.
Stop preaching to me about how great this film is going to be we've not even started yet! Also your film is average.
9. "This Is Me"
I am straight up not on board with this song. Sorry.
A good message doesn't equal a good song. Yes be yourself and don't let them get you down. I agree. But can you make a slightly less repetitive and instrumentally bland song that won't be on the radio every five seconds.
Clearly, people need this song in their lives and I hope it helps and is enjoyable.
But it isn't good.
I've only put it at ninth for the message.
8. "Come Alive"
This is where the songs get good.
Not quite great yet, but at least it's less repetitive, doesn't feel like it's a day long, and works without watching the film.
I don't have much more to say about it though.
It's the start of the middle (good) area.
7. "Never Enough (Reprise)"
This song is beautiful.
The reprise doesn't quite live up to the full thing, however, still packs a lot of emotion.
Do you know what it isn't? Too long.
I really love the way this song builds.
Unlike the previous songs on this list, it doesn't require you to be watching the film for its full impact and it works perfectly well on its own at the current length.
From this point on the songs manage that quite well, with the scenario being that the film might enhance the song but it doesn't need it to work just as well.
5. "A Million Dreams (Reprise)"
How adorable is this?
The song's lyrics are still just as good but don't have quite as much meaning in this version.
The addition of Hugh Jackman at the end does sideline you a bit making the song need the film context.
Which, as I've said before, I'm not a big fan of.
However, the sweetness that comes with this little girl singing and the melody behind it is too good to pass up because of two seconds of out of context Hugh.
4. "A Million Dreams"
This is now the top tier songs.
The narrative changing through the differing voices is wonderful.
This is another song with a wonderful message but with the music to back it.
The song even manages to reach four and a half minutes without dragging on which, especially for this soundtrack, is very impressive.
Love it. But not as much as...
3. "The Other Side"
What a fucking bop.
Integrating the sounds of the film environment into the song is a clever play.
Zac and Hugh bounce off each other greatly as they negotiate.
Guess what this instance of negotiating means?! Literally not repetitive and boring. No "ooo aah" chants.
When they come to an agreement, they sing together matching their new bond.
There's no need to see the film all the context required is within the lyrics.
2. "Rewrite The Stars"
So many similarities to "The Other Side" with contextual lyrics, a back and forth conversation with the characters, and simultaneous singing when they share thoughts.
Not only that, but it's a beautiful love song and is far from a drag to listen to.
Ending on Zendaya's soft vocals tell you that this is unresolved for her. The lyrics are the context, not the visuals, like the great song it is.
1. "Never Enough"
Obviously number one.
If you're watching the film this song has a different layer of meaning, but if the film didn't exist this song would still be full of meaning and be just as powerful.
I think it's helped by the fact it's the only song in the film that is a performance by an artist, like a regular song.
With powerful lyrics and the instrumentation to match it almost overshadows every other song in the film.
Benj Pasek & Justin Paul clearly know how to write a song and given that 20th Century Fox is soon to be Disney's, let's hope a deal can be made for them to pen a Disney films songs. I think they could do a stand up job.