If you haven’t been living under a rock, you are probably one of the many avid Disney fans that are raving about Disney’s latest production, “Moana”. The story follows a Polynesian princess that is sent on a mission by the Ocean to find a cure to the curse that has fallen on the surrounding islands, and her own island, with the help of Demigod Maui. Like classic Disney movies, Moana has a phenomenal soundtrack with amazing singers – notably Dwayne Johnson who is otherwise known as The Rock.
One of the most popular and well-known songs of the Moana soundtrack is “How Far I’ll Go.” This soundtrack is sung by Auli’i Cravalho and speaks about the main character (Moana) desiring to go beyond the reef in order to see the outside world.
There are two versions of this soundtrack: the original song was sung by Auli’i Cravalho and Alessia Cara has made an official cover of the song. In this song review, I will compare both versions based on their musical qualities and styles, and then rate both of them on a scale from 1-10.
Starting off with original sung by Auli’i Cravalho.
To start off with a few facts about the singer herself, Auli’i Cravalho is a native to Hawaii and was the last person to audition for the role of Moana. At the age of 16, she debuted as Moana’s voice – though she wasn’t initially going to audition because of the great number of Youtube submissions.
Moving on to the song, what is quite noticeable at first is the clarity of her voice. In the other version we are comparing the original with, Alessia Cara’s voice is much more huskier than Auli’i Cravalho. The clarity of her voice makes this song have a much brighter and younger feel as well – both that are appropriate to this movie.
The instrumental is quite typical of Disney as well since it is orchestral with an accompanying acoustic guitar. The rhythms and vocalizations here and there keep the listener engaged throughout the song. The instrumental in combination with Auli’i Cravalho’s clear voice, this soundtrack has me giving it a 8/10, which is quite a high rating from me, especially since I don’t particularly see Disney songs vocally challenging.
Next, we’ll compare it with Alessia Cara’s version of the song.
To start off with some background information, Alessia Cara is a Canadian artist that is quite known for her acoustic covers of pop song on Youtube. She is now signed with an official entertainment and produces her own songs.
From the very beginning of the cover, it is quite obvious that this has a more ‘pop’ feel to it. The instrumental is not orchestral but is more electronic and uses several audio editing techniques.
In terms of vocal quality, Cara’s voice is quite husky – something that is becoming quite popular and sought out in pop artists today. Artists with huskier voices are seen as new, refreshing, rare and surprising. The timbre of her voice is quite different from the timbre of Auli’i Cravalho’s voice, giving the cover of the soundtrack an interesting twist. For those who love the pop feel in combination with a husky voice will definitely love this cover. I give this cover a 6.5/10, mainly because I am not a fan of the pop feel being incorporated with a Disney song.
All in all, Alessia Cara’s cover is most certainly not a bad one. It was professionally done and her voice is quite amazing (check out her other covers on her Youtube if you’re interested!), however, I am not a huge fan of her voice in this setting. Disney is known to have a rather Broadway musical feel to their songs, and bringing pop into their songs just sometimes doesn’t work too well. In this case, the original wins this review as the vocals and instrumental fit well with the meaning and intent of the lyrics.