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Friday Dance Party: Alessia Cara Debuts “How Far I’ll Go” From Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Moana Soundtrack

Ever since we heard Lin-Manuel Miranda would be composing the score for Disney’s Moana, we’ve been itching to hear a sample, and this week we’ve finally got our first taste of the soundtrack. Most notably, we’ve got a full-length cover of one of the songs, debuted by Canadian pop songstress Alessia Cara. According to EW, this song will also be sung by Moana star Auli’i Cravalho during the movie itself, and the above version by Alessia Cara will be the song that plays over Moana‘s end credits.

This is much poppier mix than the instrumentation that I expect will be used during Auli’i Cravalho’s version of the song in the film, but it’s still got a great vibe and a beautiful melody. This is a great example of the classic “I Want” genre of song, in the same category of Disney songs like “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, “Reflection” from Mulan, and “Just Around the Riverbend” from Pocahontas. The song is probably going to be set early on in the first act, as Moana is dreaming about adventures and longing to prove herself and go on a journey… you know, classic heroine stuff!

Of course, we know she will soon meet the demi-god Maui … and there will be some more singing to follow at that point, plus plenty of high-stakes adventuring. Earlier this week, we got a very brief taste of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson singing a song titled “You’re Welcome” as Maui, which perfectly encapsulates the comedic self-congratulatory nature of the character that we’ve seen in the trailers so far:

Plus, Dwayne Johnson’s voice sounds incredible as the character! It’s great to hear him singing so well here–not that I ever had any doubt he could bring it, since he’s posted a few videos on social media of himself singing casually before. Lin-Manuel Miranda has penned him an excellent melodic talk-singing comedy tune here to showcase the character’s sense of humor and self-importance, without requiring any super-complicated melodic lines. After all, The Rock isn’t exactly a classically trained vocalist, but he still gets to show off his chops here in a fun way that suits the role.

Both of the songs have a similar rollicking, dance-y vibe, and based on these two songs, I have a feeling I’m going to really enjoy the entire Moana soundtrack. The seven original songs that Lin-Manuel Miranda composed for the movie-musical will get released to the public in advance of the movie premiere, on November 18th. The movie comes out on November 23rd.

It’s going to be a nice beach-centric form of escapism to listen to these songs and watch Moana just as the fall weather is getting chilly!

(via Rolling Stone)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).