Sunday, 19 January 2014

CD Review: Frozen (soundtrack)

“It’s time to see what I can do”

Disney’s Frozen is as close to a stone-cold classic as they’ve produced in many a year, a loose retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen with a delightfully forward-thinking approach to gender roles and adorned with a cracking score by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. This last fact means it is as well-conceived a musical as one could hope for, something confirmed by the Oscar nomination for Best Song received by its lead song 'Let It Go', and the Broadway production that has now been confirmed to be under discussion.


Its theatrical credentials are further confirmed by the voice cast that was assembled for the film, erring to Broadway performers rather than established film stars and creating a wonderful mix that nails the quirky characterisations of the film. So Idina Menzel takes on the fierce Elsa, emotionally intense due to her enforced solitude but breaking free in the most glorious of ways as she finally embraces her powers in the epic number that is 'Let It Go', an instant classic that has me delivering all kinds of armography whenever it plays on the stereo.

'Let It Go' – Idina Menzel



Kristin Bell is a surprisingly (to me at least) powerful match for Menzel’s Elsa as her younger sister Anna who actually becomes the focus of the movie as it turns out, and their duets are really quite effective, the blend of their voices just right. With Josh Gad as a comedy snowman (who nearly had me dissolving completely at one point in the movie), Jonathan Groff as the rugged mountain man Kristoff is great but underused, and Christophe Beck’s instrumental score is charming to listen to as well. It all adds up to a rather satisfying soundtrack package that is well worth the investment.


There’s all sorts of bonus goodies available on the internet, testament to the movie’s immense success, and I’ve collected a few of my favourite bits below.


An interview with Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez about the song-writing process features Anderson-Lopez singing part of 'Let It Go' from 3.37 and making me wish we had a full demo from her, as she sounds just lovely.




To facilitate the international success of the film, there have been many new local recordings but I think the Danish version of 'Let It Go' is my favourite at the moment.


'Lad Det Ske' - Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg



The Dutch version comes a close second though with a great vocal from Verkaik.

'Laat Het Los' – Willemijn Verkaik


And the French version, 'Libérée, Délivrée' by Anaïs Delva is also good, sounding somehow quite different.







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