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Thursday, December 16, 2010


Music by Alan Menken
Walt Disney Records
20 Tracks 55:39 mins

Latest Disney CG animation is Tangled, their musical take on the Rapunzel fairy tale, with Mandy Moore voicing Rapunzel, Donna Murphy as her mother and Zachary Levi as Flynn Rider. The voice cast also includes the likes of Ron Perlman, Jeffrey Tambor and Richard "Jaws" Kiel.
Now veteran Disney scorer Alan Menken provides the music, collaborating with lyricist Glenn Slater on the songs, voiced by the cast, which feature on ten of the albums twenty tracks, and there is a Grace Potter vocal tagged on at the end. The songs are standard fare - perfectly agreeable, without being anything exceptional - a mix of pop, folk and show tunes, the most memorable being the duet between Moore and Levi on "I See the Light."
As for the underscore, "Flynn Wanted" gets things off to an adventurous start, with some galloping action music. "Horse with no Rider" is more on the menacing side, with choir adding weight at one point then. The menace continues, initially march-like, into "Escape Route," though things do turn somewhat lighter, and "Campfire" is a much more peaceful affair, with again a folksy, somewhat Celtic feel, though the cue does turn menacing at the end.
The folksy element combines with a medieval feel for the increasingly lively "Kingdom Dance," whilst "Return to Mother" is sad and subdued, continuing into "Realization and Escape," before choir joins the orchestra in a soaring moment, leading to some tense moments, before ending with a burst of exciting action. The lengthy "The Tear Heals" follows and goes through many moods before reaching its lovely, emotional ending, with soaring strings, brass and choir, leading to a tender, guitar-lead conclusion. Finally, "Kingdom Celebration" opens on a very light and folksy note, complete with banjo and fiddle, before a rousing orchestral/choral conclusion.
A very listener-friendly album all round, Menken proving once more just how expert he is at this kind of fare.
The film is already in release in the States, but opens in the UK at the end of January. In the meantime, the Tangled soundtrack album is available both on CD and as a digital download.


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