As Disney Channel’s Tangled: The Series concludes its first season, Walt Disney Records has just digitally released the soundtrack including all of the songs from the show so far. The songs are mostly the work of composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater, who also created the music for Tangled and a bunch of other amazing movies and musicals.
“Wind in My Hair” performed by Mandy Moore
This comes from Tangled: Before Ever After and is now actually the theme song for Tangled: The Series. It’s reminiscent of “When Will My Life Begin?” from Tangled, but as you might expect, not quite as good. It’s fine, and Mandy Moore couldn’t do a better job singing it, but it leaves a little something to be desired for me. It sounds like something that could have been played over the end credits of the film.
“Life After Happily Ever After” performed by Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, and Clancy Brown
This is also from Tangled: Before Ever After and doesn’t work so well outside that context. There’s a lot of dialogue in here, and some not-so-good singing from Clancy Brown’s King Frederic. Zachary Levi does a nice job with his share of the song, though, and I hope his character gets to sing more in the future.
“Wind in My Hair” (Reprise) performed by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi
There’s not much I can say about this reprise that wasn’t already said about the first iteration of the song. It’s fine but not really a standout. (I think there are some standouts on this soundtrack though, so keep reading!)
“I’ve Got This” performed by Mandy Moore, Eden Espinosa, and Jeff Bennett
I believe this comes from the “Queen for a Day” episode, and although it isn’t a great song on its own, it is fun and more memorable to me than any of the previous songs. I think it could still use a little something to give it a boost, but it’s pretty good as it is. This is the first time Eden Espinosa gets to sing on the show, and it’s odd that she doesn’t sing more considering her Broadway roots.
“Let Me Make You Proud” performed by Jeremy Jordan
Ah, yes. Here we go. Jeremy Jordan. He’s so good. He could sing literally anything and I’d probably add it to my playlist without even thinking about it. This is the first song that I think is comparable to what you’d expect from a full-blown animated musical or even a stage musical. It’s emotional, memorable, and expertly performed… What more could you want?
“Let Me Make You Proud” (Reprise) performed by Jeremy Jordan
In the show, this song marks a turning point for Varian, Jeremy Jordan’s character, and it delivers the drama and emotion needed to make that moment work in terms of story. If I played this song for you without telling you where it comes from, your first guess would probably be some Broadway musical, and I think your very last guess would be from an episode of a Disney Channel animated series. It’s that good.
“Friendship Song” performed by Brennley Brown
This one is definitely more typical of Disney Channel fare, but it’s undeniably catchy and a fun song nonetheless. This song feels the most unlike Tangled to me though — it’s more along the lines of something from Phineas and Ferb than it is classic Alan Menken.
“Listen Up” performed by Danielle Brooks, Mandy Moore, Steve Blum, Jeffrey Tambor, Charles Harlford, Paul F. Tompkins, and M. C. Gainey
I haven’t seen the episode this song comes from, so I can’t speak to how it works in the context of the show, but it’s not a bad song on its own. It has shades of “Fixer Upper” from Frozen, only not as fun. There are bits of dialogue in here that give some indication of what’s going on, but I’m not totally sure what to make of it.
“Set Yourself Free” performed by Mandy Moore
This song pairs nicely with “Wind in My Hair” and is pretty similar overall. I think I prefer “Wind in My Hair” over this one, but that may just be because it’s grown on me some after hearing it so many times.
“Ready As I’ll Ever Be” performed by Jeremy Jordan, Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Clancy Brown, and Eden Espinosa
Oo boy. Another Jeremy Jordan song. This one comes from the season finale and marks another turning point for Varian. This is probably my favorite song from Tangled: The Series so far, and I hope there are more like it in the second season. It’s the most Broadway-esque song of the bunch, and it would fit right in on my Disney & Broadway Musicals playlist (which is a pretty high compliment from me).
“More of Me” (Series’ End Credit Song) performed by Natasha Bedingfield
Okay, so I know I said that “Friendship Song” felt the least like Tangled to me, but this one is actually the most random. It’s not horrible, but it sounds nothing like the music in the show. It’s not even written by Alan Menken and/or Glenn Slater, which makes its inclusion here even more of a head-scratcher. I’ve never been a big fan of the trend of celebrity pop stars performing end credits songs though.
So, this release is ultimately kind of a mixed bag. Some of the songs I really like, while others, not so much. I do think it’s worth listening to, and I would add at least a few of these to a playlist on my streaming service of choice. I can’t imagine you’d have terribly high expectations for music from a TV series, so chances are you’ll be pleased with the quality of the music here overall. Here’s to an even better second season!