Review: Frozen Original Soundtrack / Author: Robert Anderson-Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Christophe Beck / Publisher: Disney / Release Date: Out Now
Disney are seen by many as very prim and proper when it comes to their creative output; clean family fare. However, they’re also very good at finding the right creative person for the right job. It’s worth noting that the soundtrack for their latest kiddie pleasing movie Frozen was created by husband and wife team Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who are responsible for innovative and slightly naughty musicals such as Avenue Q and In Transit.
This sharp wit and humour shines through in the soundtrack. Obviously, there is the standard Disney tweeness here; songs like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” are meant to melt you heart, and firmly remind you of similar classics such as “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid. For a while, it feels like this is going to be an album filled with the sort of saccharine but catchy fare we’ve come to demand from the House of Mouse. However, much like the movie itself, once it gets going (and fulfils your expectations of the same old, same old) it then takes a sharp turn and completely surprises you.
For example, “For the First Time in Forever” begins along the usual sort of lines, before carefully inserting a few fart gags. Both “Fixer Upper” and “Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People” sounds like they’re lost Avenue Q tracks and though they’re both short, they’re also very sweet and add a level of surprising depth to the album. “In Summer” is a song about a snowman who has no idea about what heat does to ice, but thinks that lazing on a hot beach sounds wonderful. The tune is the sort of hum-along fun that you would expect, but the lyrics are just the right side of dark to be both funny and child-friendly.
The show stopping number is “Let It Go”. Featuring the vocal talents of Idina Menzel (who you’ll recognise from the song “Defying Gravity”), it’s a power ballad sang from the heart, and Menzel really puts all her energy into it. It’s key to the plot of the movie, and once it gets going, it’s rather unstoppable.
The rest of the soundtrack is taken up by orchestral tracks. Once again, Disney have been very clever in their choices; Frozen is filled with believable and bold female protagonists, so they hired Christophe (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Beck to do the twiddly dramatic music, and he delivers emotion and strength precisely and extremely well. Overall, if you’re looking for a movie soundtrack that is family friendly and very amusing, or if you just love Broadway, then this may well be worth your while.