Job, the Musical

February 20, 2012 | By

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Joseph, with his Technicolor coat and his rags-to-riches story, seems like the ideal protagonist for a musical. An exotic setting! Family drama! And a great tear-jerker ending!

The story of Job might make a great musical, too–for an audience of masochists or depressives. The biblical story is about an ordinary man caught in an argument between God and Satan, both of them playing with his fate like a toy. At the beginning, Job is a good guy, has faith in God, a beautiful wife, ten kids, and a healthy career. By the end, his possessions are gone, his children are dead, and Job is driven to “curse the day he was born.”

The Sussex, England-based band The Indelicates took this depressing tale as a challenge. From it, they composed their 2009 concept album The Book of Job: The Musical, an honest-to-goodness, 16-song CD. The songs–which range from folk-rock and country to out-and-out balladeering–tell Job’s story without ever losing their pop-song sensibility. Even in pieces like “God Speaks to Satan” and “Mrs. Job’s Lament,” Job’s travails are balanced with sympathy and humor.

Is the story of Job a parable? Is it moralistic, or is it horribly unjust? The Indelicates avoid asking the big questions directly, instead preferring to let the story speak for itself…and telling it as it’s never been told before.

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