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Defying Gravity - EP

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Album Review

Heretofore, Broadway star Idina Menzel has not shown much interest in merging her stage career with her solo recording career, following her featured role in Rent, for instance, with Still I Can't Be Still, an album of original compositions in an Alanis Morissette mold. But after winning the Tony Award for her starring role in Wicked, she re-creates her signature song from that show, "Defying Gravity," on this 41-minute, six-track CD maxi-single. Her "Single Version" is preceded by five remixes, all of which lift her vocal off the track and combine it with the usual relentless beats and synthesizer patterns. "Hani's Flying So High Club Mix" really only sprinkles a few of Menzel's lines in, while the "Funky Junction & Anthony Reale Club Mix" uses quite a lot of it, high in the mix. By the time Menzel's own Glen Ballard-produced version appears at the end, it seems rather tame, but at least gives a sense of what the song is about rather than serving as an excuse to create anonymous dance tracks. (This disc contains a note reading, "Single version from the forthcoming Idina Menzel album," but when Menzel's next album, I Stand, was released in early 2008, "Defying Gravity" was not on it.)


Born: 30 May 1971 in New York, NY [Queens]

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known for her Tony-nominated performance in the Broadway smash Rent, singer/actress Idina Menzel made her solo debut in 1998 with the pop-soul effort Still I Can't Be Still. She joined the cast for Wicked in 2003 and appeared on the recording that same year, while 2004 saw her releasing the album Here. The following year, Menzel appeared on the soundtrack to the television show Desperate Housewives, and a duet with Ray Charles (which the pair had recorded back in 1998) found its way onto the...
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