Top 10 Underrated Songs from Popular Musicals

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Top 10 Underrated Songs from Popular Musicals

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Owen Maxwell
These underrated songs from popular musicals go to show that it doesn't have to be the lead single to steal our hearts. We're looking at the hidden gems in hit productions that never quite get the love they deserve. We're basing our choices on the popularity of the musicals themselves, the quality of the tracks, and the details that earn them a second look. MsMojo ranks the most underrated songs from popular musicals. Which song do you think deserves more recognition? Let us know in the comments!
Transcript
It doesn't have to be the lead single to steal our hearts. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Underrated Songs from Popular Musicals.

For this list, we're looking at the hidden gems in hit productions that never quite get the love they deserve. We're basing our choices on the popularity of the musicals themselves, the quality of the tracks, and the details that earn them a second look. Many of these songs contain important plot elements, so a SPOILER WARNING is in effect.

#10: "No One Is Alone"
"Into the Woods"


Near the end of “Into the Woods,’ The Baker and Cinderella give a comforting reality check to Jack and Little Red Riding Hood. “No One Is Alone” contrasts the musical's fantasy elements with an honest lesson about finding strength in others. Though the messages about growing up and facing the complexities of the world are heavy, the track remains hopeful too. Vocals and instruments build beautiful harmonies, while every voice gets a moment to themselves as well. “No One Is Alone” is also an important moment of emotional growth in the story, that delivers the powerful melodies to match.

#9: "A Little Fall of Rain"
"Les Misérables"


Éponine is shot in a frantic moment and sings her final song as she dies in Marius' arms. In his shock, Marius finally offers Éponine love in the hope that it could help her live. With her life at an end and Marius holding her, Éponine can't seem to feel any pain, however. While Éponine's final breaths are with someone she loves, the moment is bittersweet since he doesn't truly love her back. The rain in effect becomes a poetic stand in for all of Éponine's troubles, which seem trivial in her last seconds. In a musical full of tragic moments, “A Little Fall of Rain” shines thanks to its clever wordplay and subtlety.

#8: "Requiem"
"Dear Evan Hansen"


In the wake of Connor's suicide, each of his family members respond to the death in their own unique way. His sister Zoe remembers Connor as an aggressive and mean person, and chooses not to mourn a monster. Father Larry doesn't understand his son's depression, and ultimately sees Connor as ungrateful for his wealthy upbringing. Connor's mother Cynthia, however, finds comfort in Evan's fictitious email exchange with her son. Though she is able to move forward with her life, Cynthia unfortunately only does so through a lie. The frustrations and acceptance of each character culminate in confident vocals, and aided by the dynamic, loud drums. By showing each character's personality through their reaction to Connor, “Requiem” is a surprisingly revealing song.

#7: "Razzle Dazzle"
"Chicago"


As Billy Flynn prepares Roxie for her court appearance, he sings about the power of wowing audiences. While “Razzle Dazzle” sounds like it's about show business, Flynn's advice has more to do with winning over juries. Through Roxie's love of performance, Billy explains how she can confuse judges and make people believe any story she wants. Despite the classic Broadway tones of this track, its themes about law tactics are actually quite smart. Though Billy's number is overshadowed by all the strong women in “Chicago,” “Razzle Dazzle” is a deceptively fun tune that highlights the power of good acting.

#6: "Run and Tell That"
"Hairspray"


After Seaweed meets Tracy and Penny, he breaks into an exciting number about fighting racism. Rather than asking for acceptance, “Run and Tell That” finds Seaweed shouting with pride for the color of his skin. He praises how interesting people of color can be, while comparing them to fruit and chocolate. Inez's solo is even more energetic, as the song kicks into a bridge about finding equality between everyone. “Run and Tell That” has the same upbeat funk of other “Hairspray” tracks, but its over-the-top performances and socially conscious lyrics are some of the musical's most engaging.

#5: "Thank Goodness"
"Wicked"


Glinda celebrates how well her life is turning out, but there's an unsettling notion behind her happiness. Her marriage has her feeling happier than ever before, but she knows that her fiancée isn't truly in love with her. Glinda says she has her dream life, but she's also torn up about leaving Elphaba behind. Amongst all of her doubt, the seemingly excited villagers are actually spreading rumors behind Glinda's back. Though “March of the Witch Hunters” is a great ensemble piece, Glinda's song has a much more complicated emotion to it. While she's often seen as the popular witch, “Thank Goodness” shows more nuance and depth to Glinda.

#4: "Notes… / Prima Donna"
"The Phantom of the Opera"


André and Firmin are losing their minds reading notes from the Phantom, which critique Carlotta's performances. The letter hilariously insists that Carlotta play the pageboy in the opera, since it's a silent role. Despite all the blackmail, the threatening notes also joke about how people hate receiving letters. With Carlotta's ego broken, Firmin and Andre start singing her praise to get her to perform again. Every line plays to her addiction with fame, as Carlotta whines about her professional hardships. The song becomes so exaggerated to appease Carlotta, that soon the entire city is singing to her. Between Phantom's comedic insults and the backhanded compliments of “Prima Donna,” “Notes” is easily one of the funniest moments in

#3: "The Election of 1800"
"Hamilton"


For the election of 1800, people are talking about different candidates and tensions are running high. We see Aaron Burr starting to take action, while Thomas Jefferson worries about dealing with the public. Jefferson cleverly rants about knowing where France is, while also revealing why people find him undeletable. Alexander Hamilton drops poetic lines about endorsing Jefferson, which brilliantly summarize letters from the real Hamilton. All the chorus chants of “Well I'll be damned” match the building excitement of the song's story and beats. Though it doesn't have the Latin, hip hop fusion of Lin-Manuel Miranda's “Blackout” , this track brings plenty of attitude. The condensed and entertaining history of “The Election of 1800” is a true wonder of pop writing.

#2: "Something's Coming"
"West Side Story"


Tony is looking to leave gang life behind and starts shaking with anticipation at where his life could go next. The raw sense of happiness and life that grips Tony comes through as much in his shouted lines as his whispered ones. He even swings some vocals and creates huge crescendos on others. It's also interesting to see Tony express his joy through not only his singing, but his wild body movements too. While “Maria” is seen as Tony's big musical number, there's a lot more spirit and personality to in this song. “Something's Coming” is an exhilarating listen because of how well it matches its music to its emotions.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

"A Step Too Far"
"Aida"

"Love Is My Legs"
"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"

"Ireland"
"Legally Blonde"

"If I Didn't Believe in You"
"The Last Five Years"

"That's Rich"
"Newsies"

#1: "Will I?"
"Rent"


Steve begins singing to his disease support group, airing out real issues in his life through song. Though the looping lyrics of “Will I?” feel simple, they're used to capture the vicious cycle the characters find themselves in. “Will I wake tomorrow?” is repeated heavily throughout the song, as a reflection of both limited time and trying to find optimism. While the solo intro starts the song on a pretty dire note, the additions from the chorus help keep the song positive. Through its mix of desperation and unity, “Will I?” presents a realistic and memorable look at life with AIDS.
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