The first score that launched the latest Disney success period has been rather hard to find in the UK but I have now managed to get one which I am glad I did. I have always liked the Little Mermaid, the songs especially. Best of all is probably Under the Sea, a great calypso sung by the coolest crab ever to grace the silver screen and is certainly the one you will remember most after listening to the CD. Part of Your World is a lovely song that is sung by Ariel and is surprisingly understated given the context and lyrics. In fact all the score and songs are fairly understated, certainly much more so than any of the other Menken efforts. Poor Unfortunate Souls is a great villain song and sung with a low, menacing female vocal. Kiss the Girl is another calypso, but much more subdued than Under the Sea. All in all, a good mix of fun and more dramatic songs and they will certainly make you realise why Disney and Menken made such a good combination that produce great songs and movies.
Hmmm, the problem with the score is that it, like the songs, is fairly understated and the rather small orchestra doesn't help a great deal either. As Paul would say, it's more of a 'band' than a full symphony orchestra and so it lacks a lot of the power that it really needs. The best score track is almost certainly Tour of the Kingdom which introduces a great little melody as Ariel and the Prince go for a short carriage ride. Aside from that, the rest fails to really get the pules racing and so I would certainly say the best part of this score are the songs
My usual complaint about the songs and score being lumped together applies here. Disney: will you please mix the songs up with the score and place them all in the correct order they appear in the film!