Frozen II hits theaters in one week and now eager fans can experience the music through two different albums from Walt Disney Records. The Frozen 2 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack contains eleven songs from the film, including the end credit versions, while the Deluxe Edition adds outtakes and demos, instrumental versions, and score by Christophe Beck. But listeners be warned, the lyrics, track titles, and even singers contain spoilers. If you want to experience the story as it unfolds, I recommend avoiding the soundtrack until after seeing the film opening weekend.
The opening track is a lullaby by Anna and Elsa’s mother, Queen Iduna, called “All is Found” sung by Evan Rachel Wood. It’s a beautiful song that sounds like a cross between a folklore song from Lord of the Rings and a ballad from the world of Frozen. “Some Things Never Change” is a quartet between Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and Olaf (Kristoff) that is uptempo but with more of a folk music style than anything from the first film. The lyrics catch us up on how the characters have grown since the events of the first film.
The song with the big marketing push so far has been “Into the Unknown,” Elsa’s big ballad that is actually a duet with AURORA, who provides the haunting call that Elsa responds to. She’s a Norewegian singer who provided the amazing version of “Baby Mine” from the trailers for the live-action Dumbo, which sadly wasn’t used in the film. This is without a doubt the best song on the album and the one that stays with you the most.
Olaf’s big number this time around is called “When I’m Older,” which is hilariously chilling. In the film, this song occurs when he gets separated from his friends in the Enchanted Forest and begins to experience some unexplainable things. I can’t but help at the creepy strings that accompany Olaf’s shrieks throughout the song.
There’s just one song from the first film that gets a reprise, albeit a short one. “Reindeer Are Better Than People (Cont.)” is a 26-second lead-in to Kristoff’s new song, “Lost in the Woods.” It’s a stylistic anomaly on the album, sounding like a 1980’s rock ballad with some Queen-style harmonies. It’s not a bad song, but it feels out of place on the record.
Elsa has another song on the film that’s actually a duet with another character, which would be a major spoiler to reveal. “Show Yourself” includes a new song, but also brings in elements of “Into the Unknown” and “All is Found”
in the same way that “For the First Time in Forever” included elements of “Let it Go.”
Anna’s solo is saved for last with a slow ballad called “The Next Right Thing” that is a heartbreaking note to end the songs section on. Again, this song contains some major spoilers of the events in the film, but the melody is beautiful in its sorrow.
The last three tracks on the standard release are the end credit covers, starting with Panic at the Disco’s version of “Into the Unknown,” which adds an extra chorus at the top of the song but otherwise stays close to the song as written in the film with guitars dominating the instrumentals. Kacey Musgrave’s version of “All is Found” creates an acoustic version with very nice harmonies and an expanded section just for this version. The final track in this section is Weezer’s version of “Lost in the Woods” where they make it their own. If you heard it apart from the film, you might assume that it’s their own original song.
The Deluxe Edition continues with five deleted songs, some of which were recorded by their voice artists. Kristen Bell sings an omitted song called “Home” that has an uptempo folk vibe that sounds like it could have been an opening track as she sings about how much she loves Arrendelle. Songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Broadway’s Anna, Patti Murin, perform “I Seek the Truth,” intended as a duet between Anna and Elsa. Josh Gad has another Olaf song called “Unmeltable Me” about how he no longer needs a flurry to survive. Lastly is “Get This Right,” a duet between Jonathan Groff and Kristen Bell about their relationship.
Next are eleven instrumental tracks for all of the songs, including the pop versions for the end credit versions. I always enjoy listening to these instrumental versions as they reveal details in the arrangements that are hard to hear behind the singing.
The second disc contains nineteen score tracks by Christophe Beck, who returns to score the sequel. Surprisingly, he rarely reuses score elements from the first film, producing a mostly original collection of themes just for Frozen II. “Vuelie” is one of the few exceptions, which is included on the opening and closing tracks, “Introduction” and “Epilogue,” as well as one called “Iduna’s Scarf.” The closing track also incorporates the melody of “Some Things Never Change,” which is the only instance I picked out where a song by the Lopez duo is featured in the score. Most of the new melodies are somber or adventurous, a bit of a departure from the themes of the first film. My favorite track on the score is called “Reindeer Circle.”
I haven’t seen Frozen II in its entirety yet and the film may change my opinion of the music for the sequel. Based off the soundtrack alone, there are some songs that are worthy follow ups to the original, but none of them top the immediate allure of songs like “Let it Go,” “For the First Time in Forever,” or “Love is an Open Door.” With a more somber score, the instrumental tracks aren’t as invigorating on their own either. All that being said, there’s nothing to dislike about the Frozen II Soundtrack, it just had impossible shoes to fill. Those who just want the songs can pick up the standard soundtrack, while super fans who want the deleted songs and score will want to go for the Deluxe Edition.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.