Simply Mad About The Mouse gives us nine renditions of classic Disney songs by modern day artists including L.L. Cool J, Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Bolton and Billy Joel. We also get two other tracks that are based on Disney music although they are not Disney tunes: there is a creatively written introduction and the last track by Kirk Whalum, entitled "Mad About The Wolf," is strong but not exactly a classic.
The track set begins with "Simply Mad--An Introduction." This creative melody uses the horns and percussion to bolster the arrangement; the strings and piano help to make it more interesting. The number takes a quick turn into a rap/hip-hop type of sound before reverting back to a more traditional Disney instrumental track. "When You Wish Upon A Star" by Billy Joel follows; and he delivers this very well. Billy Joel's voice is in good form and he sings "When You Wish Upon A Star" with passion and feeling. Another Amazon reviewer notes that Billy's voice is a bit gruff sounding; but I think this adds to his performance. The arrangement uses strings and piano to bolster the melody. Great!
Ric Ocasek then comes in with his rendition of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah;" when the main melody comes in you can tell right away this is a pop version of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah." Ric sings very well, never missing a beat; and the female backup chorus works well to enhance this number. "Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf" gets the royal treatment from L.L. Cool J who delivers this as a rap/hip-hop number with an awesome female chorus on backup. L.L. Cool J sings REALLY well and you can tell he's having fun with this number; he performs a song he doesn't get much time to do because he and his fans prefer the more mainstream rap and hip-hop numbers. Great chord changes on "Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf," too.
"The Bare Necessities" features Harry Connick, Jr. crooning this to perfection; and the big band style arrangement works wonders for "The Bare Necessities," too. I predict that you will like "The Bare Necessities" very, very much.
Michael Bolton performs "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" very well; but I must agree with the reviewer who writes that his higher pitched voice can sound a tad "whiny" at times. The musical arrangement, however, lacks nothing; the strings and flutes make the music shine like silver and gold. Moreover, En Vogue does a great job with "Someday My Prince Will Come/One Song." The percussion, strings and drums on "Someday My Price Will Come/One Song" work to make this number a great ballad.
The CD track set ends with "Mad About The Wolf" performed by Kirk Whalum. The beginning sounds very much like the start of the first introductory track; and the horn solo that weaves in and out throughout the number shines magnificently.
The liner notes include the song credits; and the artwork impresses me.
Overall, this CD attempts to take classic tunes from Disney films and make them appealing to the adult crowd. It succeeds most of the way despite a Michael Bolton number that doesn't completely work; and therefore I give it four stars. If you're an adult who is also a big Disney fan, you just may like this CD. However, persons who want that traditional Disney sound will be disappointed.