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Comments about the soundtrack for Enchanted (Alan Menken)

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Impressions.
• Posted by: Angela Liu
• Date: Sunday, January 6, 2008, at 2:55 p.m.
• IP Address: dialup-4.236.174.228.dial1.newyork1.level3.net

What a superb film. The hand-drawn animated parts are beautiful, brief as they are, and the live performances are strong and very well-acted. Amy Adams plays Giselle so sweetly, and it's enjoyable seeing James "Cyclops" Marsden in such an over-the-top hammy role. Timothy Spall is at his henchman best, and most importantly, I think I've become a heartthrob fan of Dempsey's. The film weaves a boatload of Disney homages and slight parodies, yet does so deftly enough as to never intrude on the overarching story. The story itself is predictably linear, but its telling and presentation are so good that it leaves you feeling emotionally satisfied by the end; it ain't easy to get me to cry in a film, but more than once had the waterworks turned on for a few genuine leaks.

The music score, too - fun, catchy stuff. As Christian states, there's a nice blend between orchestral overtones and generous sprinklings of modern pop elements. Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz have drummed up some pretty excellent thematic material. The big musical number "That's How You Know" will definitely go down as an instant classic, and Underwood's Ever Ever After has quickly grown on me too. The soundtrack release itself is pretty great; it's got the three big musical numbers (True Love's Kiss, The Happy Working Song, That's How You Know), the full version of Carrie Underwood's Ever Ever After (in the film, it's a bit truncated for the ending sequences), the romantic dance number "So Close," and even the complete version of Marsden's rendition of "That's Amore." (Which serves more as a five second afterthought as played in the film.... but here, is sounding quite excellent.)

I find myself enjoying Menkin's score very much, especially the darker Narissa Theme cues; the big showdown sequence in "Storybook Ending" really lets loose some ferociously incredible choir-induced performances of her theme. I like that they re-inserted the True Love's Kiss and Ever Ever After melodies back into "Girls Go Shopping" - in the film, it was a pretty short cue and lacking said melodies. And "Enchanted Suite," which serves as the perfect bookending end credits, is worth the price of soundtrack admission alone.






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