I Stand + 4 Bonus Tracks (CD Album) by Idina Menzel - UK SPECIAL EDITION - 14 Tracks: 1. I Stand 3.40, 2. Better to Have Loved 3.58, 3. Brave 4.39, 4. Gorgeous 3.48, 5. Where Do I Begin 3.27, 6. Don't Let Me Down 3.43, 7. I Feel Everything 3.12, 8. Forever 3.53, 9. My Own Worst Enemy 4.34, 10. Perfume and Promises 3.40 - BONUS TRACKS : 11. Defying Gravity 3.53, 12. God Give Me Strength 4.05, 13. Brave (UK Mix) 4.34, 14. Gorgeous (Craig C. Master Mix) 7.27
If you're into power ballads and a fan of musicals, this is the ultimate album for you. Idina Menzel found fame in magical musical Wicked on Broadway, then in London, and now she's following in the footsteps of Laura Michelle Kelly (who starred in Mary Poppins) and releasing an album of pop music. I Stand is full of all-empowering, sing-along-in-the-car, Tina Arena-esque big songs that sound like they've been written by Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd-Webber and produced by Timbaland. Idina's got a big voice and it's easy to listen to - but you can hear the stage style in it - less raw emotion and more acting in the lyrics and delivery. However, that's not to say it's not enjoyable.
Defying Gravity - Idina's first single, a pop version of the pivotal song in Wicked - shows off her great range and has those quirky, dramatic note sequences that break up a big ballad into something more palatable. The title track is a mellow track, with a nice hint of country, which sets the tone for the rest of the album. But this is the biggest flaw - the record is not very varied. However, if you you dig Idina's style and voice, then that's fine - more of the same just keeps coming and will keep you happy until the last note. If you're waiting for something a bit different, you'll be disappointed. Having said that, the last track on the album is a Craig C. Master mix of Gorgeous, which sounds like something from a 90s aerobic class - an upbeat dance track that is a bit of a strange ending to an otherwise coherent album.
You definitely get a sense of who Idina is on the album - someone who's loved and lost and who has gained power from that - and is obviously a very accomplished singer with a powerful voice. But, as stated, if you fancy an album of power ballads, this should be on your Christmas list, and I'm sure we'll hear Idina-attempts in next year's X Factor auditions! --Lizzie Ennever
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