Can you feel the love for the Lion King? The soundtrack for the 2019 adaptation of 1994 animated film was released Thursday.
According to NPR, the new album features Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, John Oliver, Seth Rogen, and Billy Eichner. Beyoncé, in particular, gives a beautiful and enthralling solo performance of her original song "Spirit."
"This is sonic cinema," said the singer, who is also the executive producer on the album. "This is a new experience of storytelling. I wanted to do more than find a collection of songs that were inspired by the film. It is a mixture of genres and collaboration that isn't one sound. It is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip hop and Afro Beat."
In addition to "Spirit," she also collaborates with Glover, Eichner, and Rogen on the Elton John original "Can You Feel the Love Tonight."
Sir Elton lent his voice to the soundtrack again in his original song "Never Too Late." The British musician, who worked on the original film as a lyricist, worked both with composer Tim Rice, as well as Queen Bey, to breathe new life into some of the original songs from the first soundtrack.Ejiofor, known for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave, plays the villain Scar and performs a new rendition of "Be Prepared" on the soundtrack.
Eichner and Rogen, who are the voices for Timon and Pumbaa, pair up a few times throughout the tracks. The actors sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and chime into "Hakuna Matata" with McCrary and Glover.
Pharrell Williams produced many of the songs, including "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?," "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," "Hakuna Matata, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and "Mbube."
South African singer Lindiwe Mkhize and composer Lebo M. perform the signature song on the soundtrack, a modern version of "Circle of Life/Nants' Ingonyama."Composer Hans Zimmer, who worked on the 1994 soundtrack, is credited with eight songs for the new soundtrack, including "Elephant Graveyard," "Simba Is Alive!" and "Reflections of Mufasa."
According to Good Morning Amercia, Zimmer and Jon Favreau, the movie's producer, worked together to create the soundtrack.
"Just hearing that music strikes you deeply," Favreau said.
"Even if you don't know the film or stage show, there is a spiritual strength in it."The Lion King will be released in theaters everywhere July 19. The soundtrack will be released the same day.