First Listen: Frozen Original Broadway Cast Album
On May 11th, the OBCR (Original Broadway Cast Album) for Frozen was released digitally. I gave it a listen (having not yet seen the show) and wrote out my honest opinions. Enjoy!
1. "Vuelie/Let the Sun Shine On" - Captures attention immediately before going into a different version of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?". The song establishes the sisterly relationship between Elsa and Anna and how much Anna loves her sister. Then returns to the theme it opened with and tells us about Anna and Elsa's family, setting up the story. Then we move into a third part of the song, sung by Young Anna, mostly about the family and their love.
2. "A Little Bit of You" - This song is Anna and Elsa singing about the proper way to make a snowman. Sets up some of the themes such as a snowman loving warm hugs and summer. By the end it goes to Elsa accidentally hurting Anna with her powers and setting up the next song.
3. "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?" - First song that was also in the animated movie. Very minimal changes from the original song - mostly to dialogue and older Anna's part in the song. Personally I'm glad I wasn't able to recognize all of the words since the song was incredibly overplayed when the movie originally came out in 2013.
4. "For the First Time in Forever" - Some lyric changes from the original number, likely for practical reasons of putting it on stage. Patti Murin's voice is so well suited for this song and you can hear the emotion in it. This is also the first time we really hear Caissie Levy's voice as Elsa. Her voice is quite powerful and is a nice contrast to Murin's. The addition of the chorus and the mix between Anna's part and Elsa's part turns the number into a showstopper and it sounds more impactful then it did in the movie.
5. "Hans of the Southern Isles" - First introduction to Prince Hans in the show. He didn't have his own number in the movie and in this song he introduces himself to Anna. It's a cute number but I feel like it could have been said instead of sung.
6. "Queen Anointed" - Repeats the first theme set up in the first song, this time sung by women. Beautiful harmonies, point of the song seems to be to set up Elsa's coronation, and show the people are trusting her as their new queen.
7. "Dangerous to Dream" - This song is an insight into Elsa's head as she feels like she can't live up to the expectations of the people. This is an interesting number. In the movie there is no real insight into Elsa's head as Anna is really the main character of the story. This gives the listener a chance to sympathize with Elsa which I quite like. This song also repeats part of "Queen Anointed" which adds some dramatic effect.
8. "Love is an Open Door" - Another song that was also in the movie, this song is almost exactly the same other than some instrumental in the middle that's likely a dance section. Patti Murin and John Riddle have great voices and harmonize well together. It's one of the stronger songs on the album, and I think that's because it's well known at this point.
9. "Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People" - The shortest song on the album, this is the first song in which we hear Kristoff (Jelani Alladin) sing. This is the exact same as it is in the movie and it's cute.
10. "What Do You Know about Love" - This is a song where Kristoff is criticizing Anna for marrying a man she's just met. It's clearly inspired by a moment from the movie but I like it as a song. It has a pop/rock feel and out of the new songs it's one of the strongest ones. By the end of the song, it shows chemistry between Anna and Kristoff, something I like a lot in this number.
11. "In Summer" - This song is unchanged from the movie. Greg Hildreth sings it quite well and it's still a good song that's easy to hum along to.
12. "Hans of the Southern Isles (Reprise)" - Here Hans is reintroducing himself to some other characters, this time as Anna's fiancee. The people around Hans (and Hans as well) see Elsa as a threat but Hans is assuring them that Anna is fine. He's requesting that they let him lead since Elsa has fled and Anna is trying to find her. The people accept him as their leader for the time. It's a little over dramatic and it could probably be shorter but it's a decent addition.
13. "Let it Go" - Everyone knows this song. I think Caissie Levy's version is better than the original. It's more emotional and has a greater depth to it. The full power of her voice is revealed by the end of the song and it's absolutely incredible!
14. "Hygge" - Meaning comfortable, cozy, and sitting by the fire with your cheeks all rosy, this song is the most out of context one so far. It's describing comfort in the cold winters of Arendelle. It's sung by the sauna owner and is cute, but wasn't necessary.
15. "For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)" - Starting with Elsa singing to Anna, this song utilizes lyrics from the Demi Lovato cover of "Let it Go" that was released with the movie. Anna is asking Elsa not to shut her out, saying she understands. It's one of the nicest songs and it also came from the original movie.
16. "Fixer Upper" - One of the most memorable songs from the original film, this one is sung by the trolls. I love this arrangement, I can't remember if it's the same in the animated movie but it's a lot of fun to listen to and sounds like it's more of a Broadway showstopper. Personally I can imagine it with some fun dancing.
17. "Kristoff Lullaby" - This song lets us go into Kristoff's mind a bit and what I assume to be his feelings about Anna. It's short and sweet and a lovely addition to the story as a whole.
18. "Monster" - This song is new, but I heard it previously because of the digital release. I love this song. Out of the new songs written, it is one of the strongest. Caissie Levy's voice is so powerful in this song and it's such a well written and performed number.
19. "True Love" - This is Anna's song about true love, and how she's spent so long believing in it and the idea of a fairytale. Here she kind of rejects the idea. It's a slow, relatively sad song. I think it's enjoyable and I would like to see it in context during the show.
20. "Colder by the Minute" - With quite beautiful harmonies, this song has Hans charging Elsa with treason and sentencing her to death. Makes the moment incredibly dramatic, especially as the song speeds up. It repeats certain parts of "Let it Go" and breaks into Anna trying to find Kristoff as she feels ice in her heart. When Elsa sings, the theme from "Monster" is repeated. I like this song a lot because it brings together several different songs. It's also one of the strongest newer songs from the show.
21. "Finale/Let it Go" - With a relatively slow start compared to the previous song, the final number reuses the melody of "Let it Go", something that ties everything together nicely. It ends with some beautiful harmony that lasts until the very end. It's a beautiful song to end the show with.