This is totally at the opposite end of the spectrum to 1996's Hunchback of Notre Dame, it is fun and always totally upbeat. It is much more in the mould of Aladdin. The style is more akin to Andrew Loyd-Webber's rock operas and mixes that with some great gospel songs. The logic of having gospel songs for the Disneyfication of a Greek Myth is something that I am at a loss to explain, fortunately they are great fun and sung with great enthusiasm. The opening 4 tracks set the story out in a series of short gospel numbers, taking over from Charlton Heston's brief narration at the beginning. My favourite has got to be Go the Distance which is the usual Disney wannabe hero longing for his fame and fortune and beating the odds. While not as well structured as Out There from Hunchback, for example, it was a great fanfare melody and it is sure to send shivers down the spine when you listen to it.
This is the kind of song that has Olympic Theme Song written all over it. One Last Hope is sung by Danny DeVito and in the same manner as Jeremy Iron's effort in the The Lion King, the overall effect is fine even thought I suspect Mr. DeVito isn't going to make a living as a singer. Zero to Hero and A Star is Born are two loud and excitable Gospel numbers that come past so fast and furiously you have to really be paying attention to hear them. I Won't Say is the sort of love song. It's more along the lines that the heroine regrets some of her previous romantic liaisons and is probably second only to Go the Distance for me. The Michael Bolton version of Go the Distance is slightly better arranged although I don't feel his husky singing voice is suited to this type of yearning song, but it is still sung well. Overall, if you like fun and/or gospel songs you'll love it, otherwise, perhaps not and they certainly lack the depth of the other Menken efforts and the lyrics and music don't meld as well as they do normally. In fact slightly dubious music/lyrics meshing has become more of a problem ever since Howard Ashman died. He really was a master lyricist.
Along the same lines as Aladdin for most of the time in that it is fun generally and so suffers from the usual cartoon comedy Mickey Mouse syndrome. There are a few better moments that seem to flow much better including some very Danny Elfmanesque haunting choir, very much like Edward Scissorhands. The comedy style is to be expected, only things such as Hunchback and Beauty and the Beast offer the emotional depth to provide a stirring and moving score. It is not as annoying and does not get as tedious as Aladdin and for the type of music that it is, it is functional at worst and decently enjoyable at best.