Initially planned to be released in 2020, but postponed due to 2020, we still don't know what's to come in the film version. However, that just means we can listen to the cast recording over and over again as the anticipation builds and then create a definitive ranking of all the songs.
23. "Piragua (Reprise)" - Piragua Guy
While both "Piragua" numbers are fun little breaks from the heavy moments, a 52-second reprise can only be so high on the list, you know?
22. "Inutil" - Kevin
Maybe I just don't have much appreciation for Nina's father or maybe I find this song boring, but this is the worst of the In the Heights ballads. It definitely gives depth to Kevin's backstory and character, but it also just makes me mad at his abusive father and I end up being too upset to give it a higher ranking.
21. "Atencion" - Kevin
Abuela Claudia's death will always make me emotionally distraught but, really, this number is just a prologue to the superior "Alabanza".
20. "Piragua" - Piragua Guy
Listen, I know Piragua Guy has a purpose and that is to lighten the mood, but I'd rather cry in my champagne, okay?
19. "Enough" - Camila
Camila taking a stand and calling out both Nina and Kevin is gold and the "no no no no no, no no no no no no" is extremely sing-a-long-able. Despite this, there are so many better gems throughout the cast recording. I would like Camila to be my tough love therapist, though.
18. "Hundreds of Stories" - Abuela Claudia and Usnavi
Abuela Claudia winning the lottery and sharing it with Usnavi and Sonny, then fantasizing about what they'll do with it after a life of poverty? Heartwarming. Endearing. The fact that she doesn't even mention Nina, who was like a daughter to her and sings the saddest ballad in her memory later on in the show. LIN-MANUEL, WHY DID YOU THINK THAT WAS OKAY!?
17. "Everything I Know" - Nina
Listen. I know this is controversial. The best character in the show sings the saddest song about a tragic death and I rank it in the bottom half. But as beautiful as it is it just... doesn't catch my attention. Also, it's just another reminder that Nina was essentially ignored and forgotten by her beloved Abuela Claudia.
16. "Finale" - Usnavi and Company
The circus style intro? Beautiful. The record scratch? Show stopping. The song only really gets going near the end, though, when Usnavi starts belting "Yeah, I'm a streetlight, chillin' in the heat/ I illuminate the stories of the people on the street!" and (SPOILER) inevitably realizes he's been home all along.
15. "Paciencia Y Fe" - Abuela Claudia and Company
Beloved grandmother figure recalls her family's immigration from Cuba to New York, what's not to love? The number is beautiful and incredibly relevant; I just want to hug her, and I don't say that about a lot of people.
14. "No Me Diga" - Daniela, Carla, Vanessa, and Nina
This is where we reallyyyyy get into the numbers that make us want to dance, sing along, and/or sob under a weighted blanket for four hours. Fortunately, this is a dancing and singing number. It's an all around fun song featuring the women at the beauty salon and makes me impatient to watch Stephanie Beatriz play Carla, the show's underrated sweetheart, on the big screen.
13. "Alabanza" - Usnavi, Nina, and Company
This number, however, is for crying. A tribute to the now late Abuela Claudia from what seems like the entire neighborhood. It shows just how beloved she was to the rest of the characters. Do not listen if you're trying to ignore your internal pain.
12. "Sunrise" - Benny and Nina
11. "It Won't Be Long Now" - Vanessa, Usnavi, and Sonny
In love with this number about Vanessa singing about the boys she takes home, and those she shuns, until she gets to the heart of how she feels about Washington Heights. The best part, however, is when Usnavi asks her out (or, rather, Sonny asks her out on behalf of Usnavi) and he proudly sings "Oh Snap! Who's that? Don't touch me I'm too hot!" as if his cousin didn't just tell his dream girl that he dances like a drunk Chita Rivera.
10. "When the Sun Goes Down" - Nina and Benny
Nina and Benny are hands-down one of the sweetest couples of Broadway history and this show highlights that. The two characters plan their long-distance relationship in this heartbreaking number and while it's not as strong a track as, say "When You're Home" (we'll get to that later), it's a solid duet.
9. "The Club" - Company
8. "Benny's Dispatch" - Benny and Nina
Confession: after years of being an In the Heights fan, I still don't know all the words to Benny's rap. Confession #2: For the longest time, for unknown reasons, I would accidentally sing "thanks for welcome dragon". Benny and Nina's romance is already fantastic, imagine if he got her a dragon.
7. "Carnaval del Barrio" - Daniela and Company
Not only do we get more of our beloved Carla, this song is just so energetic and fun! Show me a line in the show with more iconic delivery than Carla's "Ohhhh, my mom is Dominican-Cuban, my Dad is from Chile and P.R., which means I'm Chile.... Dominicarican! But I always say I'm from Queens!" You can't? I thought so.
6. "In the Heights" - Usnavi and Company
An energetic opening number helps the audience/person dancing alone to their bluetooth get into this amazing musical. It sets the scene and Usnavi's high-strung and awkward personality makes for the perfect protagonist.
5. "Blackout" - Company
This is where the ranking gets really tricky. The overlapping lines song by various characters is not only signature of musical theatre, but signature of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Act 1 closer (see: Non-Stop). There's actually so much going on that I can't hear everything the characters are saying, even if I look at the lyrics. Regardless, this song simultaneously slaps while also allowing me to be disappointed in Usnavi for abandoning Vanessa during a dangerous blackout.
4. "96,000" - Usnavi, Benny, Sonny, Vanessa, Daniela, Carla, Graffiti Pete, and Company
3. "Breathe" - Nina and Company
Everything about this song is tragic and beautiful, as Nina sings about dropping out of college. I listened to this song a lot when I was struggling with my internship. It didn't make me feel any better, but it did stretch my vocal pipes.
2. "Champagne" - Vanessa and Usnavi
The ultimate Vanessa/Usnavi (Vusnavi? Usnessa?) number. It's one of those rare songs that is both a ballad and very fun to sing along to. What's more, the kiss before Vanessa sings "I'm just too late" is incredibly passionate and sexy, with a hint of melancholy.
1. "When You're Home" - Nina, Benny, and Company
I've said it once and I'll say it again: Benny's vocal riffs in this song could cause unexpected pregnancy. That alone could make it the best number in the entire musical. However, the romantic tenderness of it all makes me melt in a way that few things do. Someone please appreciate me the way Benny appreciates Nina.