Do you wanna build a snowman? If you’re anything like me, the answer at this time of year is probably nearing a resounding “no.” It feels as though winter has been dragging on for too long already – the snow is turning to slush, the days feel gray, and those icicles hanging from the Mods are on track to do serious damage. We’re all a little over the winter; we could all use a pick-me-up. And what better way than through the joyous power of music?
Enter the soundtrack from Disney’s newest smash hit, Frozen. The film has not only grossed over $300 million and been re-released in sing-along format, but its powerhouse theme “Let it Go” is up for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars. It speaks in reverence of the winter season, of independence, and of new chapters in life. It’s got that Disney sense of triumph and, of course, Idina Menzel’s killer vocals. (Oh, you’ve never heard of her? Have you heard of Rent or Wicked? That’s what I thought.)
It’s the center of the film, the tune that will always seem to lodge itself in your head. This could be the song, then – the song that pulls you from the winter blues and reminds you that this season has its own sense of joy.
But we would be remiss not to mention those thousand YouTube covers, because covers are curious things. Is it possible to improve upon something already so good? That’s a question I can’t answer for you – but I will say that it’s possible to take something good in another direction. Take, for instance, these two little girls belting “Let it Go” to their hearts’ content. It’s not entirely English, but it’s adorable. As college-age kids at heart, this version should put a smile on your face.
Speaking of kids at heart, check out the Pentatonix as they take on a Frozen medley. Three of the a cappella group’s five members – Kirsti, Scott, and Mitch – have been friends since high school, and their rising fame as a band clearly hasn’t inhibited their ability to have fun. By the time “Let it Go” comes around in the medley, Mitch and his falsetto absolutely slay it.
Another worthy medley comes from Sam Tsui, the YouTube sensation and piano man – he has graced the world with his mashup of “Let it Go” and Passenger’s radio hit “Let Her Go.” It’s seamless, acoustic, and gorgeous – and the lyrics actually make sense together. Tsui, too, looks like he’s having the time of his life recording this little beauty.
And, in my opinion, the current most underrated cover of “Let it Go”: Alex Boyé’s “Africanized Tribal Cover.” Talk about taking something good in a totally new direction. This piece features tribal chanting and drumbeats accompanied by a sweeping children’s choir. Lead singer Lexi Walker is eleven years old, and her voice (as well as the little girl’s at the end) makes me question what exactly I’ve been doing with my life.
So with these songs as our guide, we here at Boston College will continue our journeys through this long winter – we will let go of the gloominess and seek the joy of the season. And soon enough, we’ll be able to say with conviction that the cold never bothered us anyway.