Fresh from becoming the biggest Broadway songwriter in the world with Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda was offered the honor of composing the score of Disney’s next animated musical, Moana. Miranda was working in a field with a lot of competition, and I’ll admit that there are several Disney theme ballads that are still superior to this one, but he came up with a worthy and impressive attempt at the genre, with a distinctively haunting sound that gives it a unique flavor. It’s the perfect sound for a young girl who dreams of following the wind and sea to unknown places, and the only real mistake they made was choosing Alessia Cara to record the Pop version. Don’t get me wrong, I love Alessia Cara, but her entire persona is based on bitter, sardonic detachment. Now, on the songs she sings on her own albums, like “Here” or “Scars To Your Beautiful”, this is an advantage, but here, she makes this Disney ballad feel more miserable and pained than optimistic and adventurous. It’s a great song and Cara is a terrific singer, but they just don’t work together…Cara isn’t really the Disney-ballad type, and even with Demi Lovato (the most obvious choice for a song like this) on hiatus, they really could have found a more suitable singer for the single version.
Verdict: Great song, good singer, bad combination of the two.