various artists,
Ice Princess
(Walt Disney, 2005)

OK, this is a soundtrack to a Disney movie about a teenage female ice skater. It's a safe bet to expect a bunch of motivational and/or love songs by young female recording artists. Well, that's exactly what the Ice Princess soundtrack provides. A soundtrack packed with female recording artists isn't a bad idea, per se, but in the case of this album it becomes hopelessly formulaic.

There's actually a decent level of talent/experience on this album (Michelle Branch, Jesse McCartney and American Idol's Diana DeGarmo), but the song choice and their performances are seemingly "phoned in." It's sad when an actress singing a song (Hayden Panettiere, with obvious studio help) sounds about the same as the professional singers.

There are a few tracks that fall outside the mold, but not necessarily in a good way. Jump5 is actually a boy band, but unfortunately their rendition of "Just a Dream" isn't very memorable. Raven-Symone offers a bit of groove with "Bump," but only a bit.

I must admit there is one gem in the rough. "It's Oh So Quiet" by Lucy Woodward starts off in a quizzical manner, with shushes and woodwinds, and then breaks out some trumpets and percussion. Think of a French cabaret/arthouse performance infused with jazz. Very nice stuff.

Unfortunately, one song does not a good soundtrack make. Unless you're really into the most subtle nuances/variations of formulaic young female recording artists, feel free to glide past Walt Disney's Ice Princess soundtrack.

- Rambles
written by C. Nathan Coyle
published 2 July 2005

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