Mastered for iTunes

America's past is present in this entertaining hip-hop musical

Every crisply delivered line of Lin-Manuel Miranda's ambitious rapped musical made it onto the original cast recording, making this two-and-a-half-hour album a satisfying substitute for the Broadway experience. With classic hip-hop as its base—"Ten Duel Commandments", for example, references The Notorious B.I.G.’s "Ten Crack Commandments"—Hamilton also dazzles in its diversity. Old-fashioned R&B showtunes ("The Schuyler Sisters"), '60s pop used for comedic relief ("You'll Be Back") and buoyant club tracks ("Helpless") all get their shot.

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