Tom: A bit of context for you here: We Love Disney is a series of cover albums. I thought it was dead, but apparently not — although I can’t find any context for this. Anyway: this seems like the right people to cover a song like this.
Tim: The original of this song has a decent key change. It’s pleasant, standard, and adds a bit to the song. In addition, it’s telegraphed a good few seconds in advance, and so you’ve got time to prepare for it.
Tim: Dolly Style, on the other hand, bring it so far out of the blue that you’re ending up with a musical concussion, and HOT DAMN it’s wonderful. Aside from that there’s not much new here, although it’s a bit heavier on the dance bits and lighter on the marimbas; for me, though, that key change makes the whole recording worthwhile.
Tom: I can see why you’d say that: but there’s a different and more subtle change that means the whole song doesn’t work for me. The original chorus of How Far I’ll Go has a really nice bit of musicianship in it that sells the whole thing.
From the sheet music, “see the line / where the sky / meets the sea” sounds like the syllables should land on the 1, 2 and 3, with the emphasis on the 3. That’s what Dolly Style is doing here, and it’s common for this genre, but it sounds staccato and metronomic when compared. That’s because in the original, the timing is softened and subtly changed so the words aren’t exactly on the beat, and as a result it sounds emotional.
Tim: Hmm, yeah, I can hear that, I guess.
Tom: Yes, that’s music-nerdy. But honestly, it makes all the difference.
Tim: But then, so does that key change.