[Idina Menzel voice] Into the UNKNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWN
Since its 2013 theatrical release, Frozen has become a billion-dollar phenomenon—not just Disney’s most well-received animated feature since the studio’s early-’90s renaissance, but a juggernaut whose impact extends way past its target audience. That’s due in large part to the persistence of “Let It Go,” the omnipresent Oscar-winning anthem. For the movie’s highly anticipated sequel, Disney has smartly reassembled the same cast and the songwriting team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez—all Broadway veterans—for a set of eight new originals that feels every bit as quotable and considered. There are vaguely traditional folk tunes (new recruit Evan Rachel Wood’s “All Is Found”) and ’80s power ballads (“Lost in the Woods”), autumnal pop-rock gems (“Some Things Never Change”) and an Olaf solo (“When I Am Older”), as well as perfectly suited bonus takes from Kacey Musgraves, Weezer, and Panic! At the Disco. But it’s Idina Menzel’s “Into the Unknown” that makes a case as worthy successor to “Let It Go.” Haloed by a haunting vocal from Norwegian artist AURORA, it’s another belter with a cliff’s-edge chorus and a powerful message: Listen to yourself, embrace who you are.