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Frozen soundtrack is dramatic, exciting ★★★★½

The+Frozen+soundtrack+is+one+of+the+most+popular+original+soundtracks+in+recent+history.+
The Frozen soundtrack is one of the most popular original soundtracks in recent history.

The Frozen soundtrack is one of the most popular original soundtracks in recent history.

The Frozen soundtrack is one of the most popular original soundtracks in recent history.

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Thousands have fallen in love with Disney’s latest animated musical, Frozen, and the soundtrack was only added to its wonder. If the film itself is a warm piece of apple pie; the soundtrack is the scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The album features 32 original songs, including 10 songs written by power couple Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and 22 instrumentals provided by Christophe Beck. Theatrical, expressive, and dynamic; Frozen has definitely earned its current ranking as number one album on both the iTunes and Billboard charts.

The first two songs in the album, “Frozen Heart” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” give the listener a basic understanding of what Frozen is about. “Frozen Heart” is a dark, but lively tune that represents the beauty, danger and power of ice. It has a chaotic, yet beautiful and clever mix of exciting Scandinavian folk and sinister orchestral music. “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” aside from being adorable, describes the attempts Anna (Kristen Bell) makes to connect with her sister, Elsa (Idina Menzel), throughout her childhood. The song pulls at the listeners’ heartstrings as the hope in Kristen Bell’s voice turns to longing and despair.

In terms of the melody, “For the First Time in Forever” is not as catchy as the other songs on the album. That being said, what it lacks in musical originality, it makes up humor, optimism, and character development. Bell’s voice gets a chance to show just how quirky and adorably awkward Anna really is.

“Love is an Open Door” just might be enough to convince the cynics that true love isn’t such a crazy idea. This duet between Kristen Bell and Santino Fontana, the voice of Hans, is everything true love is expected to be; light, fun, and full of hope. Plus, it helps the singers’ voices fit together like a lock and key.

“Reindeer(s) are Better Than People” and “In Summer” don’t assist in the progression of the plot, but are all valuable to the soundtrack. One part madness and two parts silliness; there really is no point for “Reindeer(s) are Better Than People.” It’s a fun, short, duet between Jonathan Groff and himself. “In Summer” is sure to make the listener chuckle. Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf the Snowman, humorously sings about all the wonderful things frozen things do in summer.

The reprise of “For the First Time in Forever” is, hands down, one of the best songs in the album. It’s engaging, heartfelt, and full of emotion. The push and pull the two singers combined with the contrast in their voices creates an exciting effect. Idina Menzel’s desperate, fearful voice overpowers Kristen Bell’s hopeful and determined one in a final bone chilling note. It’s enough to give anyone goose bumps.

On the album, there are two versions of Frozen’s most publicized song, “Let it Go.” One version is performed by Idina Menzel, the other is sung by Demi Lavato. Unfortunately, Lavato’s version pales in comparison to Menzel’s and has no purpose on the soundtrack. It’s not that Demi Lavato’s is bad, but Idina Menzel is simply spectacular. It’s hard not to compare “Let it Go” to “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked. In both, Idina Menzel sings with tremendous power and passion. Also, Menzel drops some sass on the line “the cold never bothered me anyway,” which is kind of hardcore. However, the thing to really take away from Let it Go is how important it is for a person to accept and love himself for who they are.

It would be impossible to review to Frozen without taking time to also analyze the musical score. Christophe Beck was definitely the man for the job, having worked on The Muppets, Paperman, Pitch Perfect, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He did a phenomenal job capturing, enhancing, and setting, the tones and themes conveyed in the film. Beck’s ability to jump from one musical style to another is engaging and keeps the listener on their toes. For example, while Elsa and Anna, is light and bubbly; Wolves is dark and intense.

The Frozen soundtrack is dramatic, emotional, fun, and exciting. The lyrics and score are, in the tradition of Disney, amazing. The songs work well with their visual counterparts, but are equally as good on their own. The worst part of the album is that the songs are so catchy that the listener won’t be able to stop singing them. Frozen’s impressive soundtrack has earned itself four and a half stars.

 

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