Other than the positively glowing earliest reactions to Disney’s new live-action The Lion King, most critics have not exactly been fond of the film. Much of the criticism, including some reviews that have been downright scathing, has cited the conundrum that there’s only so much emoting photoreal animals can do. Of course, The Lion King isn’t just a movie, it’s a musical, so no matter how good or bad it looks, how much audiences enjoy its songs will play a large part in determining how much they like the whole movie. But you don’t have to wait to see the new The Lion King to find out how it will sound, because Disney has made the entire soundtrack available to stream right now.
The 19-track album includes Hans Zimmer’s iconic score, plus the cast’s takes on classic tracks like”Hakuna Matata” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” as well as Donald Glover and Beyoncé’s duet of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” which might be the best song on the album. Beyoncé’s original song “Spirit” is also included, as is the all new “Never Too Late” by Elton John, whose work on the 1994 original still stands us some of the best music in movie history. South African composer Lebo M also contributed two new songs, which close out the album.
Be prepared, though, because some criticc’ biggest disappointment with the new soundtrack is Scar’s “Be Prepared,” which is a lot shorter and less sing-y than Jeremy Irons’ original. (I kinda dig this new version myself, but I also love everything Chiwetel Ejiofor does, so I might not be the best judge.)
Even if audiences don’t end up liking the movie, they might still end up liking this soundtrack. A real-looking cat might be limited in how much they can emote with their eyes, but that’s not a problem with humans singing.
Featured Image: Disney