Guest Author - Allan Harris
This is a review of two Walt Disney Records that are part of the Disney Karaoke Series.
The first CD is “Disney on Broadway (June 2, 2009).” Walt Disney Records has taken the most widespread tunes from the Disney musicals “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Tarzan,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Mary Poppins,”
This karaoke CD has vocal versions on tracks nine through 16, and instrumental only versions on tracks one through eight. So you can hear what they sound like with a professional singing them, and then strut your stuff in front of your friends and neighbors at your next karaoke party.
The CD has the following tunes:
1. Beauty and the Beast – Beauty and the Beast
2. Home – Beauty and the Beast
3. Part of Your World – The Little Mermaid
4. Beyond My Wildest Dreams – The Little Mermaid
5. Spoonful of Sugar – Mary Poppins
6. Feed the Birds – Mary Poppins
7. He Lives in You – The Lion King
8. You’ll Be in My Heart – Tarzan
The booklet that comes with the CD includes the lyrics to all the songs.
This CD has nice arrangements that are tastefully done. The music never overpowers the vocals. And the mix between the vocals and music is well done, so you can feel the music.
The clarity of the vocals is a tribute to whoever mastered the music tracks, because sometimes if the lyrics are too loud compared to the music, you hear the words clearly, but the music volume is too soft for you to feel the pulse of the music. The opposite can happen too, where the music volume is loud enough for you to feel the rhythm, but the words are drowned out.
This problem was avoided by the engineers when they mixed these songs by leaving the vocal dry – not a lot of reverb on the voice allowed it to maintain its clarity.
The main reason I would recommend this Karaoke record is that the songs and tracks feel good. This CD would be particularly applicable for children, from the youngest (to listen to) to perhaps 12 years old. I don’t know what age group they were aimed at but the arrangements are well done and the musical dynamics are a treat for anyone to hear.
The second CD is “The Broadway Karaoke Series (May 19, 2009)” and again features instrumental versions on tracks one through eight and vocal versions on tracks nine through 16.
This CD contains the following tracks:
1. My Favorite Things – The Sound of Music
2. Tomorrow – Annie
3. Popular – Wicked
4. Consider Yourself – Oliver
5. I Dreamed a Dream – Les Miserables
6. Put on a Happy Face – Bye Bye Birdie
7. No One is Alone – Into the Woods
8. Somewhere – West Side Story
The arrangements on this second CD are a bit robotic compared to the arrangements on the first CD.
All the vocalists do a fine job on both CDs but the production is not as good as the “Disney on Broadway” CD.
On “No One is Alone,” the piano plays exactly the same notes as the singer, which is probably good to guide karaoke singers, but “milks” out the lyrics. While you can still hear the lyrics okay, that technique does not allow a listener to hear the dynamics of the singer as well as if they just had the melody to themselves.
All in all, if you’re looking for a good karaoke CD to introduce children to music, I would recommend the Disney on Broadway CD, and a second-best to the Broadway Karaoke series. If you want a good karaoke experience, you’ll probably enjoy both of them.
These CDs are available at Amazon.com…
Disney's Karaoke Series: Disney on Broadway
Disney's Karaoke Series: Broadway
All the best,
BellaOnline’s Musician Editor