West Side Story Soundtrack

Music review by
Marina Torres-Nemeth, Common Sense Media
West Side Story Soundtrack Music Poster Image
Lots of vibrant music amidst a heavy storyline.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages
Violence

Violence and murders are vividly portrayed in the tense, frantic music. "Finale" includes the sound of the gunshot that kills Tony. The tragic final scene's dialogue may disturb young listeners.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that famed composer Leonard Bernstein's score employs jazzy, complex rhythms, tight harmonies, and vibrant, inventive arrangements. The CD tracks the Academy Award-winning movie, which illustrates the disastrous results of racism and lack of parental guidance combined with violence and a gang mentality.

User Reviews

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Kid, 12 years old July 10, 2010
Teen, 13 years old Written by[email protected] April 9, 2008

What's the story?

This modern-day retelling of Shakespeare's \"Romeo and Juliet\" was groundbreaking when it hit Broadway in 1957 and exploded on the silver screen in 1961. WEST SIDE STORY is a masterful musical that enjoys continued appeal for its gripping score -- and, unfortunately, for its continued social relevance. This music captures the innocence, passion, tenacity, and excitement of youth with an underscored mood of tension and ultimate tragedy. For the first time, the songs are placed in the order they appear in the movie, developing from vibrant dance numbers and hopeful ballads to the anxious pieces following the rumble.

Is it any good?

From the pride and camaraderie of "Jet Song" to the sassy "America," the beautiful love duets "Tonight" and "Somewhere," and the complex "Quintet" and "A Boy Like That," this show boasts musical gem after gem. The music is beautiful and touching, bawdy and exciting, tense and tragic. If your family loved the movie, you and your kids will want to experience it again and again with this soundtrack.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how racism is learned and how to help abolish it. You could also discuss how economic and social factors can contribute to a divided society, and ask your children how they can create better outlets for their energy and emotions.

Music details

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