ENCHANTED
Music composed by Alan Menken
Label: Walt Disney Records
Catalog:
D000092502
Year: 2007
Tracks:

1. True Love's Kiss (Amy Adams,  James Marsden)
2. Happy Working Song (Amy Adams)
3. That's How You Know (Amy Adams)
4. So Close (Jon McLaughlin)
5. Ever Ever After (Carrie Underwood)
6. Andalasia
7. Into The Well
8. Robert Says Goodbye
9. Nathaniel And Pip
10. Prince Edward's Search
11. Girls Gone Shopping
12. Narissa Arrives
13. Storybook Ending
14. Enchanted Suite
15. That's Amore (James Marsden)

Total Time: 54:30
Rating:


Reviewed by
Tom Hoover

 
"Enchanted" reunites Alan Menken with Walt Disney Films for another successful outing. The soundtrack is comprised of his original score and songs from the film as there are, in fact, 6 songs on the CD and 9 score tracks. What saves the day, at least for score collector's who are interested in length, is that Track 13 (Storybook Ending) is over 10 minutes long and gives the score's running time a much needed boost. The only reason why the running time is even a factor is due to Menken's excellence -- the score material is really fantastic. The sound quality offers a rich, classic score experience and it's quite refreshing to hear. After a year in which so many young composers have hit us over the head with the 'modern' sound of our era, a score like "Enchanted" reminds us of how the pros do it.

As mentioned in my introductory paragraph, the album is divided into 2 parts; song and score. As with most Disney pictures, this is expected and whether you're into this sort of compilation really depends on your personal interests. However, I can say that the score material on the album does warrant a purchase. As this is another magical yarn from Disney, the score is appropriately enchanting, befitting the title card nicely. Menken's score begins with Track 6, "Andalasia" and takes us through to Track 14, concluding with the "Enchanted Suite."

Overall, the tone of the score took me back to the works from Disney's yesteryear as there is something really timeless about the way Menken writes the music. The score material is really a breeze to listen to and makes for a very nice, lighthearted experience. However, lightness eventually does give way to dark as the score takes a surprisingly epic turn with the cue entitled, "Narissa Arrives." Full of sweeping choral bombast, this cue gave me a wake up call that there was more to this score than pleasant ear candy. An interesting aspect to the choral pieces of the score is that the female voices are the predominant ones of the choir, which makes sense given the characters of the story. The arrival of Narissa sets forth the highlights of the score as this exemplary track is followed up by an extended 10+ minute cue, "Storybook Ending" that's equally as impressive. It's here where the album hits its climactic moments and every moment is sheer enjoyment.

In a time period where the greats like John Williams have taken a time out, picking up a score like this helps stem the loss. Personally, whether its because I have been worn down by synthetically fueled scores or have heard one too many generic offerings, I whole heartedly welcomed Menken's "Enchanted" for its wonderful orchestral tones. It's also a score that is as accessable for children as it is for adults. The only shortcoming of "Enchanted" is that there wasn't more score material from Menken, but, with the quality of the score, that's something I can live with.

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