2. "Snap Click" (Diana's relationship with the paparazzi when she first began dating Charles)
One of the first things you'll notice about the music in Diana, The Musical is that it's almost entirely written in a series of couplets with very simple rhymes ending in single-syllable words. Allow me to catalog the entire list of rhymes in this song, so you can see what I mean: smile/while; Di/eye; peek/week; blast/last; thrill/kill; wank/bank; bright/right; rich/bitch; go/so; real/deal; pay/say; lead/need; day/away. I feel like this the kind of song that's always being performed in an ad that plays in the back of a New York City cab, right before you turn the sound off.
3. "This Is How Your People Dance" (Diana wishes Charles were cool and modern and liked Elton John)
If this song, which is so square that you could use it to frame a house, were really what rock music sounded like, I think Prince Charles and the entire royal family would have been fine with it all along. More fun with rhymes: "Like to sock her" is the wedged-in rhyme of "rocker." I would have guessed it was going to rhyme with "shocker," but sure.
4. "An Officer's Wife" (Charles' mother—the Queen—signs off on their divorce while reflecting on her marriage)
There's nothing more disappointing than a curiously tuneless ballad. (You have to respect the pure madness of the chorus members breathlessly adding "But then the king died!" as if it's very, very exciting, in case you lost track of the exposition.) I have to say, I don't think the show really justifies this song's pivotal placement over the divorce. Obviously, there's a desire to draw parallels between Diana and Elizabeth, but they're not really getting there. In other words: This song is not the beeeeest that I have ever seeeeeeen, it seems it's just a messy way to humanize the queeeeeeeen.
5. "Pretty, Pretty Girl" (Diana decides to use fame to her advantage)
They really like that "press/dress" rhyme, eh? You have to admire the way "The stories girls are taught to believe/are not the stories that a girl should believe" is just kind of thrown in there like it's under a Snapple cap.
6. "The Worst Job In England" (the wheels begin to spin to make Diana a princess)
Look, let's not be boring about it: It's certainly possible to build a song around an unwieldy, not particularly musical phrase that doesn't rhyme with anything. But the rest of this lyric is one of the most glaring examples of the moon/June, heart/apart rhyming that plagues the entire show, and this titular phrase just keeps getting plopped on top of all of it like Cool Whip at the end of a TikTok salad recipe: There's nothing wrong with it, but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with anything.
7. "The Dress" (Diana goes out in a daring black dress at the height of the press attention around her)
It's true that Diana's fashion choices were a big part of her story, as was this particular dress. But this show is positively consumed by what she's wearing, and this is the second song in the show that leans this heavily on the word "dress." Furthermore, I understand it's fun to write profanity, but here, the barrage of f-bombs feels pandering, like the part of a concert where the singer says, "We're so delighted to be back here in ... CINCINNATI!"
8. "The World Fell In Love" (Diana charms the people of Wales)
This is as good a time as any to mention that the lyrics sit very inelegantly on the melodies in this show. "BUT I'm truly/NO ONE special/ in FACT I'm less than/WHAT I seem" is an example of how the sequence of words technically fits the structure, but you would never speak these words like this when it comes to either emphasis or phrasing. Compare that to this long, winding Cole Porter line with the emphasis like this: "I get no KICK from cham-PAGNE; mere alco-HOL doesn't THRILL me at ALL, so TELL me why SHOULD it be TRUE; that I get a KICK out of YOU?" Those are all the same words you would stress in speaking, really. And if you want one that's simpler and not by Cole Porter, you can even compare it to "OOOOOOklahoma, where the WIND comes SWEEPing down the PLAIN!"
9. "Whatever Love Means Anyway" (Charles and Diana begin their loveless marriage)
This song keeps feeling like it's supposed to build to a soaring chorus, but it doesn't actually have one. I don't mean technically; I think it does technically have a chorus. But if someone named this song and said, "How does that song go?", I'd be hard-pressed to tell them, even right after I've heard it. That tends to mean you forgot to write a soaring chorus.
10. "The Words Came Pouring Out" (Diana spills her guts to biographer Andrew Morton)
Again, they keep repeating the title to construct a chorus, but are there any words here anyone would remember? Is there a melody you would be able to replicate even five minutes after you first heard this song? I'm also not sure that out of all the things you could burn a number on, the best possible thing is having Diana reiterate everything we've already heard her say about her marriage.
11. "Diana (The Rage)" (Charles is angry at Diana after she dances in public)
It feels inevitable that this show would involve a song in which someone says "Diana" over and over again, kind of the way they keep saying "Monorail!" in that episode of The Simpsons. This song is as good as any, and it makes sense that it's an angry song, since "Maria" kind of used up the idea that if you say it soft, it's almost like praying.
12. "I Will" (Diana endures her actual wedding)
This isn't bad. At times, it sounds like a song! Sure, that song is "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship, formerly known as Jefferson Starship, formerly known as Jefferson Airplane. But still, I could hum this one. I won't, but I could. I think it helps that a lot of the lyric is "I will, I will" over and over again. After all, every word rhymes gracefully with itself!
13. "Him And Her (And Him And Her) / Just Dance" (Charles and Diana both navigate affairs, with help from the imaginary Barbara Cartland who keeps popping up)