By Madyson McGill
Everyone knows the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast is being turned into a live action movie with some of our favorite actors playing the classic characters: Emma Watson as Belle, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and many more will grace the big screen in one of my favorite Disney Princess films.
So, they have the classic characters, but what about the classic songs? Yes, we’ve heard a bit of Emma Watson’s singing chops in the snippet of “Something There,” but what about the iconic song “Beauty And The Beast,” originally performed by Peabo Bryson and Celine Dion?
Well, it was given to Ariana Grande and John Legend. Fans first heard the song in the final trailer for the film released on January 30th, and the full song has since been released. Let me tell you: it gives tribute to the classic while still developing its own style. It is not ever just the same, but it is ever a surprise. We all know Ariana Grande can mimic Dion’s style from her skit on Saturday Night Live, but in this rendition, she doesn’t need to. She uses her own impressive vocal range.
What I think Grande and Legend add to the newer version is a modern soulfulness. While the background instrumental sounds similar to the original, it isn’t an exact copy of the 90’s track. Grande and Legend add their own vocal flares to the rendition. However, while their voices sound great together, I don’t think they blend as smoothly as Dion’s and Bryson’s voices did in the original. Grande and Legend seem to be singing in a lower key, and sometimes it feels like they’re just singing over one another instead of blending together. Another aspect I found surprising was that in the original version, to me, Celine Dion’s voice is more prominent. However, in this version, I feel like instead of Ariana Grande voice being more prominent it’s John Legend’s. It’s not to the point where he’s overshadowing her; it’s more of his voice standing out more.
While the new version does hold a candle to the original, I don’t think it tops it. The original track is better, but isn’t that usually the case? I am curious, however, to see if this single can get nominated for a Grammy and win like the original did at the 35th Annual Grammys. Maybe we’ll even get to see Grande and Legend perform it on stage. I also think that this version will fit the live action version of the movie well. It already proved that within the trailer.
I remember hearing it in the trailer and being really excited to get the full version, and when I did, I was not let down. It is truly a great track, and I recommend checking it out even if you’re a classic lover like me. By itself, I would give this single a solid four out of five.