Updated: Feb 2
Frozen was a musical and boy did the music helped elevate the popularity of the first movie. For #Frozen2, everyone was waiting for the new "Let it Go"; a song that will resonate and give that sense of self-empowerment. Did the sequel of the phenomenon known as #Frozen live up to its potential? That's subjective and I guess everyone has a different opinion on which music really struck home or not. For me, each songs hold a special part of the movie and what I liked about Frozen 2. Each brought something to the table and I want to give a brief thought on it. So without further adieu, so let's talk about each one.
"All is Found"
The intro song song is sung by none other than the mother of Elsa and Anna, the late Queen Iduna. It is the song that kept appearing in the movie either through quick snippets of characters singing them and/or melding with another song (more on that later). It also talks about a pivotal place in Frozen 2's lore. Personally, I don't think it's bad and it's sung quite well, but to me, it's just like Frozen's "Frozen Heart" song. It's an intro song that truly doesn't resonate with me other than giving a quick glance at a plot point of the movie.
"Some Things Never Change"
The second song of the movie is actually one I truly adore; might be my favorite. "Some Things Never Change" truly touches on every single aspect of what will be crucial in Frozen 2's conflict, character centered and grand scheme alike. It's not subtle at all in any way, shape or form with the 'hints'. From "an old stone wall that will never fall" to "I can't freeze this moment", this song truly is the cliff notes of what is going to happen in Frozen 2.
Part of the reason why this might be my favorite song is because it has the four---five leads singing together in one song (yes, Sven is a character! He has his 'own voice'). They were teased singing together in "When We're Together" for a brief line, but in Frozen 2, they all sing together and the addition of the choir just makes it one unified and feel good song. The scenery of the festive celebration in Arendelle also adds more to the song and it just shows how the characters have adjusted to their new peaceful life but there's this 'brewing' worry that it won't last or that change will happen. But then there's Anna, the optimistic princess holding on to the idea that things will always be okay and that some things will remain the same even when the seasons change.
To me, this song also has a bit of a love letter from Disney/Frozen Franchise to the fans that has followed, waited, matured, and basically are still here after all these years. I mean, Olaf even briefly breaks the 4th wall and says "... And you all look a little bit older..." before spanning out to the kids he was supposedly talking to as they run into view to the audiences.
Again, a great song that has an upbeat melody, all the characters singing about their conflict and singing together, then, of course, the love letter.
"Into the Unknown"
Supposedly this was supposed to be "Let it Go 2" and I honestly don't feel that it is. Sure it has a lot of Elsa talking about how she feels, her ongoing emotional struggle and eventual commitment to go the opposite direction from how she started when the song began, but "Into the Unknown", I feel like, has more to do about Elsa and is less about connecting with the wider audience. True, the audience that adore Elsa will gravitate towards her singing (Idina Menzel, you sing like a goddess), but it doesn't truly go as far outside the message of what Elsa is feeling compared to "Let it Go".
Just like "Let it Go", the visuals are amazing. I can tell that the animators really wanted to give as much of that Elsa sass and showcasing Idina's singing forte. But most of the amazing visuals comes from just how well Elsa and everything else are animated. That's not to say that the showcasing of Elsa's magic didn't have its own flare, it did, but I was more at awe with just Elsa's animation.
But that's my personal take on the song. All in all, I feel like this is my second favorite song. Idina Menzel just nails it, the instrument just goes in sync with the emotions trying to be portrayed as the song progresses, the gorgeous animation works so well (I've always loved Elsa in dark colors like burgundy), and the way they had it focus on Elsa and the voice, the way she uses her magic... it's incredible. May not be as gripping as the 'ice castle' in Let-it-Go, but it does still hold its own in my opinion. Honestly, it's a bit more powerful for me.
"When I Am Older"
I have never been a big fan of Olaf's songs--didn't enjoy "In Summer" or "That Time of Year" and even if I like Olaf a bit more for the sequel, this song still didn't do much for me. Sure it showed off more of Josh Gad's ability to show off his second skin, Olaf, all in all, it just feels like "In summer" but more pivotal to Olaf's story arc in Frozen 2.
"Reindeers are Better than People"
Yes, this is a song, but no it's not a song. It's literally an intro to the next song. As a homage to Kristoff's only song in the first movie, it's nice.
"Lost in the Woods"
Everyone was excited that Kristoff was going to get a solo song in Frozen 2 and I was too but everyone seems to discount Olaf's Frozen Adventure where Kristoff had a solo song: "The Ballad of Flemmingrad". That particular song had two versions: the one in the (short)movie and the extended cut that can be heard in the digital and physical copy. That song actually goes hand-in-hand with the theme of the winter short movie, which is, of course, traditions.
Frozen 2 does go all out with Kristoff's solo within "Lost in the Woods". It pretty much outlines Kristoff's story arc, his emotions about his love for Anna, and what is going on against it. It's basically his strongest point in the movie, sadly, and to be honest, there's not much to the song when I put it next to the main plot and the grand scheme of things. Though there is one thing that makes Kristoff's song stand out: it goes all out with the visuals--it literally takes the audience out of the theme and rhythm of the movie by using visuals that resembles 80's music videos and/or boy band group.
Now there are plenty of people who have pointed out the rock bands and other musical groups that inpsired Kristoff's ballad. I'm not going to get into it. All in all, this song could either annoy or enamor fans. I personally like it. I like how Johnathan Goff sang it, I like how it summarized Kritoff's arc, I like the visual, and I like how it is so aware of itself. Again, it could very well be a hit or miss, luckily, it was a hit for me.
This is Frozen 2's "Let it Go" in my opinion. While "Into the Unknown" (to me) is almost all too personal for Elsa's character and slightly harder to translate and relate to the audience, "Show Yourself" has a lot of what made/makes "Let it Go" hit the right notes. In the grand scheme of things, it is Elsa talking about how Ahtohallan and how its mysterious existence gives her this feeling of 'belonging'. Throughout the lyrics and through some fancy ice sliding and merging the other spirits together, Elsa finds out that the answer and wanting she has been searching for is in her--the journey was a lot about finding out about herself and by accomplishing that (and a few more plot points), Elsa can finally feel completely free and 'herself'.
While there are obviously some differences and an obvious sense of evolution, "Show Yourself" has a lot in common with "Let it Go". The theme of self discovery, freedom, and believing in one's self is obviously some of the underlining theme of both songs. It's a sense of assurance, pride, and finding confidence. It both starts very solemn and then it really builds up to a strong and VERY loud (in a good way) song with both Idina and the music really building up together. Visually, while "Let it Go" was truly the first instance that we saw Elsa really demonstrate the neat things she can do with her powers, "Show Yourself" also had moments where Elsa was exhibiting her magical abilities, albeit a bit more experienced and definitely with more confidence.
All in all, it's a good song and I can see why it resonates as it does with a lot of the fans. It's not a complete rehash of "Let it Go", but it does give enough of the same beat (musical-wise and visual art) that makes it a memorable song. I adore how it ties in with the plot and it puts all the songs together (the ones that came before like "All is Found" and "Into the Unknown" anyway) in more ways than one. Not my favorite, but I can definitely say I enjoy listening to it.
"The Next Right Thing"
Anna concludes the soundtrack with her very sad ballad. This song is a far cry from how Anna was in the beginning of the movie. Gone was the optimistic and overly joyous Anna, and down into the pits of grief and depression. The Princess of Arendelle experienced a roller coaster ride and this song pretty much came crashing down with every despair she has gone through. She laments, nearly succumbs, but through the song, Anna gets up, pushes through, and circles in the point of her story arc: adapting to change and doing the next right thing when everything she knows was ripped from underneath her feet.
I honestly like this song. Not something I listen to all the time. I like Anna in this movie and to see her change and persevere through this song was a fitting way for things to conclude her arc. Sure the depressing ambiance was a weird way to end the soundtrack, but I suppose it's better than the troll song, right?
I have to say that in the end, I think I prefer Frozen 2's soundtrack far more than the first one. I feel as if there were more to the lyrics and the music that really connected to overall arc of each character and the entire message of the movie. So I guess now it's my ranking, right?
From least to favorite:
"Reindeers are Better than People" -Not really a song, but I like that it ties in with the first movie
"When I am Older" -Again, not a big Olaf singer fan. But it has merit since Olaf is far more tolerable in the second movie; and I actually like him.
"All is Found" -For an intro song, it does its job, but not much else for it for me.
"Show Yourself" -Sang real well and it has a powerful message. Beautiful visuals and it's Elsa, but it doesn't resonate with me as much as the other songs.
"The Next Right Thing" -To hear Anna in a far less jovial song is kind of a nice change. Also has a good emotional beat to it.
"Lost in the Woods" -Just the outlandish and exaggerated visuals makes this a far more memorable song than some of the other songs in the list.
"Into the Unknown" -Elsa singing in burgundy color. It's all about Elsa. What's there not to like?
"Some Things Never Change" -It's a coin toss between this song and "Into the Unknown" from taking number one. The only reason why this takes the cake is because I do love hearing all of them sing together.
Until Next Time!