The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals, produced by Team Starkid, is an absolutely fantastic show. Full of energetic performances, humor that is equal parts clever and funny, a tightly written script, and some genuinely amazing songs, it is a musical that I have fallen absolutely in love with ever since I first watched it a couple weeks ago. To sweeten the deal even further, it’s free to watch on Youtube, and is extremely high-quality, even by the standards of Starkid. Truly, it’s amateur musical theatre at its absolute best, and that’s why I’m not going to write a review of it. Not only do I not think I can properly do justice to this fantastic show, but honestly, reviewing perfect or close-to-perfect pieces of media is just boring. It’d just consist of me gushing for a few thousand words, and that’s boring. So instead, I’m going to rank the songs, and you’ll hopefully get an insight into why I love the musical so much through that. One quick housekeeping note, I will be judging these songs based on how they’re presented in the actual show, not based on the official cast recording. So if, for example, I were to criticize or praise a particular vocal performance, I’m talking about the live version. So yeah with that out of the way, let’s get into this shit!
14 – Let Him Come
This barely counts as a song. It’s 50 seconds long, and is just a short reprise of a short section of the opening song to serve as an interlude leading into the finale of the show. It’s last less because it’s bad, and more because it’s uninteresting. There’s nothing wrong with it, though. It even builds a little bit of tension, in my opinion. Also, Jeff Blim is in it, and I’ll get to him later, but suffice it to say that his particular brand of chaos does wonders to make the song engaging. 6/10
13 – You Tied Up My Heart
This song is a very mixed bag for me. I think my biggest gripe with it is that it’s too long, and it doesn’t go through as many interesting musical ideas as a lot of the other songs in this show do. Also, Jeff Blim is uncharacteristically out of tune here. That man can belt like an angel when he puts his mind to it, but some of those high notes are a bit hard to stomach at times. Oddly enough, even though Jeff’s vocals are one of my critiques, the overall highlight is his performance. He doesn’t have much to work with (what with him being cuffed to a chair and all that), but he really makes the most of it. I’m not going to try and describe what his energy is like in the song. Instead, I’ll just include a picture below this chunk of text that perfectly summarizes it in my mind.
Narratively speaking, this song also has to sell a very important transition in the show. Up until this moment, it has pretty much been a pure comedy with some mild horror in the background. Here, however, we get our first taste of pure horror at near the ending, which serves to set the tone of the show going forward. This is what establishes the threat of the hive, and without it succeeding at doing that, I don’t think the ending would work nearly as well as it does. 6/10
12 – Cup of Poisoned Coffee
The reprise to Cup of Roasted Coffee sure does exist, doesn’t it? It works pretty well as the first taste of horror in the show, and the ending is really dramatic and cool, but most of it is just more of what worked in Cup of Roasted Coffee. It serves its purpose, but it didn’t blow my mind or anything. 6/10
11 – Not Your Seed
This song is really whack. On the one hand, Mariah Rose Faith is a really talented actress, and an even better singer, so she sells the whole thing pretty well. My two biggest frustrations with this song are that it’s too inconsistent, and it goes for some kind of cheap emotional moments, instead of building to them organically. Like honestly, that whole verse about “why does it hurt to love you?” just doesn’t make much sense, and I feel like the genuine emotion that could be attained from exploring Bill’s reaction to his daughter becoming part of the hive is left untapped in favor of this lesser attempt. The inconsistency is a funny complaint for me to have as well, considering that I was complaining about You Tied Up My Heart being too samey throughout. But honestly, this wasn’t at all what I had in mind. This is too much, and the constant switch-ups make it hard to really get into the song. With that being said, the ending is shocking, the choreography is very good, and as I already mentioned, the singing is truly top notch. 6.5/10
10 – America Is Great Again
Alright, here’s where things get truly great. Bringing us into the top ten, we get a pretty big jump in quality in this song, a masterful blend of political satire and dramatic stakes. It’s also led by the one and only Jeff Blim, which gets it bonus points. Seriously, look at this man! He’s just marching back and forth on stage, yet something about his facial expression captivates me.
He also gives a really good vocal performance here. Much better than the one in You Tied Up My Heart. Overall, this track is a pretty damn great piece of music that serves to propel the story towards its finale, while also poking some fun at the US Military at the same time. Two noble endeavors, masterfully brought together. 7.5/10
9 – What Do You Want, Paul?
It causes me physical pain to rank this song this low, it truly does. This song certainly has its high points, let me tell you that. It leans completely into the easily digestible comedy that makes up the first portion of the show, with Jeff Blim giving a hammy, engaging performance as Mr. Davidson and the result is one of the funniest parts of the show. The lyrics are funny, the song is catchy, and Blim’s comedy is on point!
Seriously, look at this man’s face! Do you see how hard he’s trying to sell this shit? And like, it mostly works. I laughed my ass off throughout the song, especially on my first watch. Unfortunately, the ending once again suffers from Blim singing just the tiniest bit off key. It’s not noticeable if you don’t look for it, which is why this one’s so much higher up than You Tied Up My Heart, but once you notice there is no turning back. But seriously, it’s impossible to overstate how fucking hilarious this number is. Easily one of the moments with the most laughs per minute in the entire show. 8/10
8 – Cup of Roasted Coffee
This one’s just fun. A catchy, entertaining jingle written in the style of older commercials. The choreography is energetic, the gags land, and the singing is all around fantastic. The lyrics are pretty great as well. Lots of intricate rhymes. Nothing much to say on this one, it’s just fun. 8/10
7 – La Dee Dah Dah Day
What a bop! This is the first song to take place after the meteor strikes earth, and it perfectly establishes the comedic tone that the first leg of this show has. It’s catchy as all hell, Paul’s interactions with the singers is top notch, and the choreography is as engaging as it is entertaining. Not to mention the crackhead energy it carries throughout. A true banger for the ages. 8.5/10
6 – Join Us (And Die)
I know I keep talking about the show slowly transitioning into horror, and this is the payoff moment right here. A power-ballad duet sung by Jeff Blim and Jaime Beatty that forms a perfect blend of creepy as all hell and jaw-droppingly badass. Everything from that super impressive opening belt, to the creepy little girl voice Beatty takes on, to Jeff Blim being….well, Jeff Blim, to the zombie-like choreography makes this one of the most effective pieces of horror in the show. Albeit a piece of horror with a healthy dose of camp and pure entertainment value injected in. 9/10
5 – Show Me Your Hands
Show Me Your Hands is a fantastic, jazzy number led by Jeff Blim. It pokes some fun at the police force in America, and it’s used in the show to inject the first bit of tension into what has otherwise been a very comedy-driven performance up until this point. It’s such a bop, and the choreography makes it even better than it has any right to be. Honestly, Blim’s dance moves in this song sum the whole thing up pretty well. 9/10
4 – Show Stoppin Number
This song is…..just about flawless. It effortlessly channels the energy of a climactic Broadway number, backed by Robert Manion’s flawless vocal performance, while its lyrics poke fun at all the tropes these big bombastic numbers often fall into. However, that’s not really why this song makes the list. Like yeah, that part’s great, but the transformation this song goes through mid-way into the runtime is what bumps it up to the top five. It’s hard to explain what happens to someone who hasn’t seen the show, and if you have seen it you know what I’m talking about, but let me try and walk you through it anyway. After two verses about the show-stopping number as an art form, the character singing it begins monologuing about a musical he’s been writing called Workin Boys: A New Musical, and then he fucking breaks into the opening number for that musical. So essentially, we’re now dealing with a musical within a musical. And let me tell you, the Workin Boys part of the song is straight up perfection. I think Manion’s choreography especially stands out here, but it’s really the complete package. The jokes, Ted becoming super fucking invested in the performance, the flawless transition back into the main segment about Show-Stopping Numbers, it just all works beautifully. 10/10
3 – The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals
What a fantastic opening. It’s catchy as all hell, it perfectly sets the tone for the show, establishes everything that the audience needs to know going in, and just oozes fun and charisma. Not to mention, it creates a bunch of really memorable lines that the show can call back to in particularly dramatic or comedic moments. It’s everything an opening number should be and more. 10/10
2 – Let It Out
What a conclusion to a character arc! I swear, I got fucking chills the first time I heard Paul sing his first line in this song, and it only gets better from there. Jon Matterson really gives it his all, and the end result definitely lives up to the amount of effort he gives. Seriously, just looking at his eyes during this song brings a whole new level of entertainment to the experience, and that’s before you take into the account the choreography he puts himself through. If this was the true finale of the show, it would be an immensely satisfying ending. Which is why it boggles me mind that the real ending is somehow even better. 10/10
1 – Inevitable
I honestly don’t have words to describe this song. A perfect subversion of expectations, ties the entire show together in masterful fashion, and sounds genuinely fantastic on top of that. I’m not even going to say anything about it, because I don’t want to spoil the ending. Just know that this song is everything a finale song should be and more, and it closes out the show on a tremendous high. 10/10
Conclusion: If you can’t tell, I really like The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals. I think it is, without a doubt, the best musical Team Starkid have produced to date, and while I have hope that they’ll top it in the future, I would not be at all upset if this was their peak. It has Jeff Blim front and center, with all of his insane mannerisms turned up to eleven, it has a fantastic cast who are as good at acting as they are at singing, and the songs are, overall, fantastic. It’s horrifying when it tries, it’s laugh out loud hilarious when it wants to be, and it naturally blends these two tonal extremes together. I highly recommend checking it out, and it’s free to watch on Youtube, so you have no excuse not to.