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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Oscars: The Battle of Best Song Really Comes Down to Two Catchy Power Ballads (And I Choose "Happy")

Today I heard the news that Idina Menzel will be performing "Let it Go"(from Frozen) at next month's live Oscar ceremony, and all I could think of was a potential sing-off opportunity, diva-style between the Broadway badass and Grammy winner Pharrell Williams, whose song "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 is also nominated. I hope the Oscar gods are already working on this on stage collaboration between the two. Wishful thinking, I know. But how cool would it be if Menzel started belting out Let it go, let it go!/Can't hold it back any more and Williams cut in with Because I'm happy/Clap along if you know what happiness is to you? If you think about it, both songs really are almost like two halves of a whole--they're both emotionally-charged ballads that will inspire drunken karaoke nights for years to come. We as a strung out audience, subjected to more than 3 hours of self-congratulating at an awards ceremony, deserve this mash-up.

But let's be real, if I had a ballot, I'd without pause choose Williams's tune, simply because it does what it promises--makes me uncontrollably, giddily ecstatic. It makes me want to clap, and dance and, most of all, smile. And it's so catchy! When was the last time we've had a nominated song that was so popular that it even stood apart from the movie? People who haven't even seen Despicable Me 2, know and love "Happy." That's part of the charm of both Pharrell and the song itself. It's inclusive and hugely universal, catering to anyone no matter what mood they're in. While at the same time, it is extremely meaningful and passionate--despite its upbeat dance rhythm.

On the other hand, "Let It Go," which has become the odds-on favorite if you listen to the Internet thunder, is a bit more heavy in its delivery, an empowering anthem designed for a chorus (or a crowd of impressionable young girls). But I've really got to be in the mood to listen to it. Unlike seemingly the rest of the world, I wasn't in love with Frozen (you can revisit my review here), though I appreciated some parts of it (the incredible singing, for starters). But I think that overwhelming praise the film is getting is spilling over to this song. So folks seem to have tunnel vision when it comes to their favorites (which can also be said about why some choose Frozen over its more deserving fellow best animated film nominee, The Wind Rises). 

Anyway, I'm going to go chant the lyrics to "Happy" over and over in my head while I wait until a "Happy"/"Let It Go" mash-up magically appears on the web. Until then, you know where to find me. 


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