Defying Gravity: The Essential Idina Menzel on Disc

By Ben Rimalower
08 Mar 2014

Cover art

Chess In Concert (2009 Live Recording)

Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (of ABBA fame) and Tim Rice's cult musical, Chess, has had many incarnations over the 30 years since it began life as a concept album starring Elaine Paige, Murray Head and Tommy Korberg. Idina Menzel's punk-esque belt voice is a departure from the rich, clean sound of previous Chess stars Paige and Judy Kuhn; but her uniquely contemporary vocal quality goes a long way toward making the role both very authentic and very current. And, of course, in her own style, Menzel sings the daylights out of such fan favorites as "Heaven Help My Heart," "Nobody's Side," "I Know Him So Well" and "You and I."