Title - Encanto (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Artist - Lin-Manuel Miranda, Germaine Franco, Carlos Vives
Lin-Manuel Miranda has done it again. The Tony, Grammy, Emmy, and Pulitzer-winning actor, composer, and lyricist has reached soaring new heights with his contributions to the newest Disney animation studios release, Encanto.
But he’s not alone in this feat. With this soundtrack, composer Germaine Franco becomes the first woman to score a Disney film. Neither of the two are strangers to the House of Mouse, with Miranda having previously provided music and lyrics for Disney’s 2016 hit, Moana, and Franco having penned songs for Pixar’s 2017 smash, Coco.
For Encanto, Colombia is the destination, with the both the instrumental score and lyrical songs very well reflecting the various styles found in and around the country, particularly vallenato music, as well as salsa, cumbia, and a little bit of rock en español. It is this smorgasbord of musical stylings — in addition to and apart from a typical orchestral score — that make the movie special and bring to the forefront the film’s colors and jubilance.
1. The Family Madrigal — Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz, Cast
2. Waiting on a Miracle — Stephanie Beatriz
3. Surface Pressure — Jessica Darrow
4. We Don’t Talk About Bruno — Carolina Gaitán - La Gaita, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz, Cast
5. What Else Can I Do? — Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz
6. Dos Oruguitas — Sebastián Yatra
7. All of You — Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz, John Leguizamo, Adassa, Maluma, Cast
8. Hola, Casita! — Germaine Franco
9. Colombia, Mi Encanto — Carlos Vives
10. Two Oruguitas — Sebastián Yatra
11. Abre Los Ojos — Germaine Franco
12. Meet La Familia — Germaine Franco
13. I Need You — Germaine Franco
14. Antonio’s Voice — Germaine Franco
15. El Baile Madrigal — Germaine Franco
16. The Cracks Emerge — Germaine Franco
17. Tenacious Mirabel — Germaine Franco
18. Breakfast Questions — Germaine Franco
19. Bruno’s Tower — Germaine Franco
20. Mirabel’s Discovery — Germaine Franco
21. The Dysfunctional Tango — Germaine Franco
22. Chasing the Past — Germaine Franco
23. Family Allies — Germaine Franco
24. The Ultimate Vision — Germaine Franco
25. Isabela La Perfecta — Germaine Franco
26. Las Hermanas Pelean — Germaine Franco
27. The House Knows — Germaine Franco
28. La Candela — Germaine Franco
29. El Río — Germaine Franco
30. It Was Me — Germaine Franco
31. El Camino De Mirabel — Germaine Franco
32. Mirabel’s Cumbia — Germaine Franco
33. The Rat’s Lair — Germaine Franco
34. Tío Bruno — Germaine Franco
35. Impresiones Del Encanto — Germaine Franco
36. La Cumbia De Mirabel (ft. Christian Camilo Peña) — Germaine Franco
37. The Family Madrigal (Instrumental) — Lin-Manuel Miranda
38. Waiting On A Miracle (Instrumental) — Lin-Manuel Miranda
39. Surface Pressure (Instrumental) — Lin-Manuel Miranda
40. We Don’t Talk About Bruno (Instrumental) — Lin-Manuel Miranda
41. What Else Can I Do? (Instrumental) — Lin-Manuel Miranda
42. Dos Oruguitas (Instrumental) — Lin-Manuel Miranda
43. All of You (Instrumental) — Lin-Manuel Miranda
44. Colombia, Mi Encanto (Instrumental) — Lin-Manuel Miranda
Encanto is a story about magic. And from the outset, the music helps to set that tone. Abre Los Ojos starts soft, full of possibility and wonder, and swells underneath the explanation of the gifts of the Madrigal family, eventually exploding into The Family Madrigal, an up-tempo number with the accordions that are emblematic of Colombian music.
That good, good vallenato music keeps coming with Colombia, Mi Encanto, performed by Carlos Vives, who is perhaps the most well-known artist to come out of the country. And while the lyrics are all in Spanish, they give a vibe of celebration, matching the celebration of the Madrigal family as yet another member of their family receives a special power, a real love letter to Colombia.
When little Antonio receives the gift of talking to animals, his theme is driven by drums that conjure up images of the Amazon jungles where his jaguar friends live.
While Franco’s score is exquisite, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s touch is even more present, especially during the big character exposition songs, like “Waiting on a Miracle,” which is Mirabel’s lament at being different than the rest of her family, but performer Stephanie Beatriz’s triumph. This number in particular is proof that Miranda is capable of writing more than just hip-hop songs.
But they’re in there, too, with the catchy, super-relatable Surface Pressure, in which strongwoman sister, Luisa, contends with self-doubt, external pressure, and the dangers of allowing yourself to be spread too thin, at one point, asking, “Who am I if I don’t have what it takes?” By many accounts, it’s the song of the album.
Of course, the breakout song from Encanto ended up being We Don’t Talk About Bruno. And in keeping with the theme of the song, I won’t spare words for the improbable hit that’s a little bit salsa, a little bit guajira, and a little bit rap, lest it get stuck in your head.
The greatest song on the soundtrack is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first composition solely in Spanish, a number called Dos Oruguitas. Driven by guitars and soulful background vocals, it speaks of caterpillars, butterflies, and the necessity of adaptability in “el mundo que cambia, y sigue cambiando,” or, “a world that changes and continues to change.”
One of Colombia’s newest rising stars, Sebastián Yatra, sings the song both in Spanish and English on the soundtrack, but the Spanish version is better able to capture the narrative element of the song. Listen to that one first.
In Spanish, the word Encanto is equivalent to “charm.” And this soundtrack is charming. It seamlessly blends traditional Colombian and otherwise Latin American sounds with modern vibes to highlight the experiences of the film’s characters and landscape.
Abre Los Ojos. Open your eyes — and your ears — to this wonderful, tropical treat.
Review by: Ashley J. Cicotte
The Encanto (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is available on all streaming platforms, as well as Amazon or anywhere physical CDs are sold.