Song: I’m Not that Guy
Show: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Written By: Michael Friedman
Why this one?: There are more “Pop/Rock” musicals coming down the pike everyday; from Spring Awakening to Heathers to Six. This song is a lesser-known gem with the same stylings.
The Breakdown: This entry comes from the brilliant and departed way-too-soon composer Michael Friedman. Together with visionary director Alex Timbers, they created Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a musical based on the life of the seventh president of the United States. The show had an ideal development period going from the Williamstown Festival to LA to the Public Theatre and finally to the Great White Way. The show took a look at Jackson through the lens of emo rock, modernizing an American Historical figure a full ten years before Hamilton. The production was a huge smash with critics, but with the great recession only a month behind…it was poor timing to have a show that seemed to thumb its nose at the elite.(“Populism, Yeah Yeah”)
“I’m Not that Guy” is our introduction to Andrew. At 14, his entire family has died (most likely of Cholera) and Jackson laments the “sucky-ness” of his life like a true eyeliner-wearing, world blaming emo teen.
Who Should Sing This?: This song is a great song for just developed baritones and lower tenors who need a pop/rock selection for their book. The range sits at F# – Bb. In the show, Jackson is supposed to sound younger (and whiny) so the song is delivered extremely forward and nasal-y. Out of context, I don’t think this is necessary to convey the story, the text does it for you. If you use the last page of the song (the rain will come down…etc) you need someone who has a great sense of angst and timing.
Where can I Hear it? The Cast recording is available from Sh-K-Boom Records. Below is the song on Youtube. I really suggest listening to how Benjamin Walker (the original Andrew Jackson) uses his voice to show vulnerability and anger all at the same time.
My Takeaway: This song has been a great audition selection for my High School Baritones when the show is from the last 20 years. I’ve used it for Spring Awakening as well as The Wedding Singer. And really, who doesn’t enjoy a little teen angst now and again?