Every Thursday I love sitting down to watch a bunch of nerdy voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons on the show Critical Role. Their fans are known as critters and it’s a fandom as passionate as any I’ve ever been a part of. Critters create amazing fan art and so much more, though their most impressive creation so far just might be remaking the entire soundtrack for the hit musical Hamilton into Vox Machina: An Exandrian Musical.
Released in February, a group of critters calling themselves the Cantata Pansophical rewrote the soundtrack to tell part of the story of Critical Role’s first campaign adventuring party Vox Machina. It’s the result of more than 100 singers and artists who joined forces to complete the project. The entire production is impressive. They included the main characters as well as beloved NPCs to fill out the musical cast. The songs they rewrote, reordered, and chose for certain characters and situations are extremely fitting to the campaign. The singers are amazing and do a great job of portraying the characters thanks to their voices and the rewritten lyrics. Even the art is a perfect combination of the two very different shows!
It would help if you were familiar with Hamilton when listening to the album, but I don’t think you have to know it to enjoy this. Frankly it tells Vox Machina’s story in a fantastic musical way even if you don’t know the original songs. As a big fan of Hamilton though, I appreciated even more the choices Cantata Pansophical made with the soundtrack. Considering the singers of the original songs, having Keyleth sing “Burn” and Scanlan sing “Dear Kaylie” was perfect. Many of the songs also just fit surprisingly well with this part of the group’s campaign, like “Helpless,” “The Battle of Draconia,” and “Animus.”
The album is free for everyone and the creators only ask that you consider donating to charity instead of giving them any money for it.
“If you've been a member of the [Critical Role] community for a while, you know that charitable acts are a priority for the fans and cast alike,” the website states. “In that spirit, we'd like to encourage donations to some charities that the writers think are especially important.”
In addition to listening to the soundtrack on YouTube, you can also download the entire soundtrack for free here.