EnchantedWith a flourish and a healthy helping of horns, Alan Menken has composed a score that successfully sends up and pays homage to Disney scores of yesteryear. The music of Enchanted offers a soundtrack that captures the spirit of the original Disney musicals while still maintaining a relatively contemporary edge.

Starting off with the classical-sounding musical songs “True Love’s Kiss,” Happy Working Song” and “That’s How You Know,” all sung by Amy Adams, it immediately feels as though listeners have stumbled down into a rabbit-hole of Disney excellence. Not since The Little Mermaid have songs been so catchy and vibrant without toppling over into sheer cheesiness. Equally responsible for the success of these songs are Amy Adams with her surprisingly delightful and earnest voice and the tongue-in-cheek lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Pocahantas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame). “Happy Working Song” could have been pulled straight out of Cinderella, if Cindy would have been capable of winking at the camera.

Where the album begins to falter is with the addition of two unimpressive and overly ambitious pop songs: one by Jon McLaughlin and one by the ubiquitious Carrie Underwood. While McLaughlin’s song “So Close” almost hits the mark, its cliched sentiment and painfully pun-laden chorus dooms it to melodrama. Underwood, on the other hand, is so intent on wowing audiences with her trademark straining vocals and sugar-coated melodies that it feels as if her tune “Ever Ever After” belongs on a different album. It’s jammed into the album so forcefully you can almost hear the studio execs clambering to fit this square peg into Mickey’s round hole. (ouch)

Menken’s score, which makes up the remainder of the album (aside from James Marsden’s capable rendition of “That’s Amore”) is also decidedly classic Disney, though the track “Girls Go Shopping,” a bland guitar-laden bit  pulled straight from a made-for-tv movie (with hints of Menken in the background), somehow makes an appearance. Fortunately the rest of the album, including the 11 minute “Storybook Ending” are more inspiring and energetic. This music is unmistakably Disney; that mixture of epic and fun that audiences have come to expect has returned and is sure to Enchant listeners everywhere.

Zach’s Rating: B
Perfect For: Reliving Disney magic
Stay Away if: You’re not into poppy love albums and instrumentals

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