Beneath the wigs and eye shadow, Hedwig is a serious rock musical blending glam and punk in a style reminiscent of David Bowie.
Beneath the wigs and eye shadow, Hedwig is a serious rock musical blending glam and punk in a style reminiscent of David Bowie. Songwriter/guitarist Stephen Trask's score encompasses everything from grunge to country, but it's legitimate enough to help rock fans overcome fears of "movie musicals." The film is adapted from an off-Broadway show, which spawned a 1999 Atlantic cast album. This CD is louder and more raw, especially on such grinding numbers as "Exquisite Corpse." A few songs are new, with Trask himself singing. But as Hedwig, John Cameron Mitchell carries the bulk of the vocals with appropriate melancholy, complemented by backup singer Miriam Shor's sweetness. Bob Mould joins on guitar, adding muscle and volume. Despite seemingly random sequencing, the soundtrack maintains its humor without losing punk credibility. And in the wrenching "Wicked Little Town," Trask may have created a classic.—WH