Songs of a Beast

Caught at a very vulnerable moment (plus the hormonal time of the month), I burst into tears and a river flowed from my heart today when I listened to a new song from Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast soundtrack. The film will be out soon in my region, and Disney’s full throttle in promoting teasers and snippets and live social media schedules but THIS caught my interest the most.

Sung by the classical-pop crossover sensation Josh Groban, it expresses the emotional side of the tough but lonely Beast’s longing for Belle. In the animated movie, everybody except the cursed man had a feature song. Written by award-winning composers Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) and Tim Rice (The Lion King), here’s Evermore.

Now I know she’ll never leave me

Even as she fades from view

She will still inspire

Be a part of everything I do

Wasting in my lonely tower

Waiting by an open door

I’ll fool myself, she’ll walk right in

And as the long, long nights begin

I’ll think of all that might have been

Waiting here for evermore.

It’s just so…SAD. Cursed human or not, it’s just a universal feeling of melancholy and helplessness when all you could hope is for the one you love to stay forever. The orchestration and arrangement are beautifully done, but fans have to wait how non-singer Dan Stevens, who plays the Beast in the film, does this justice. We’ve all seen and put on repeat how snippets of Emma Watson’s singing has become viral. Disney’s choices to cast non-singers in lead roles to perform is making me curious, and maybe Stevens will be a revelation. Josh Gad, Luke Evans, especially Audra McDonald, have the pipes. Behind-the-scenes footage reveals how great they were (McDonald’s singing a new track too which sounded lovely).

Groban’s rendition will be hard to top, but Stevens, like Watson, might pull it off with simplicity and earnestness that will still make longtime fans of this fairy tale moved (or cry like I did).

Looking at the video’s comments made me remember that there was a Broadway staging of Beauty and the Beast with Alan Menken in charge of the musical too. I researched and found out that Groban also recorded an older Beast song titled If I Can’t Love Her. Same theme, choppier sentences, same soaring melody. The singer included this track in his Broadway covers album called Stages.

Evermore feels like an extended version of this one! I can’t wait to see the movie. Some reviews are in, but I usually just take it with a grain of salt not until I’ve seen it myself.

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