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Christmas Music - Released October 18, 2019 | Idina Menzel - Silent Records 2.0

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Pop - Released September 23, 2016 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released October 12, 2018 | Arts Music

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Pop - Released October 13, 2014 | Warner Records

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Frozen opened the doors for Holiday Wishes, a seasonal album from Broadway superstar Idina Menzel. Without the 2013 Disney blockbuster, Menzel may have cut a Christmas record, but certainly Frozen's success meant that Holiday Wishes arrived to the biggest potential audience she'd ever have, so it's not a surprise the record plays it safe. Save for the presence of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You," which is now the closest thing to a new holiday standard, and perhaps the shoehorning of "When You Wish Upon a Star" into the Christmas theme, there are no surprises here, not in the choice of songs, not in the old-fashioned arrangements, not even in the choice of Michael Bublé as the duet partner for a de rigueur "Baby It's Cold Outside." Unsurprising though it may be, Holiday Wishes nevertheless is satisfying because producer Walter Afanasieff commits to his Christmas classicism, as does Menzel. Everything here sparkles with the gleam of freshly fallen snow: it's big, bright, and so stubbornly out of fashion that it'd never go out of style. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released September 23, 2016 | Warner Bros.

Tony-winning renaissance woman Idina Menzel returns with her fifth studio LP, 2016's idina. Aside from a Christmas album and a live symphonic set of pop standards, this is Menzel's first proper release since 2008's Glen Ballard-produced I Stand. While she's logged plenty of stage time in the eight ensuing years, her most notable contribution came on (or rather, off) screen as the voice of snow queen Elsa in Disney's 2013 smash hit Frozen. Since "Let It Go" entered the pop musical canon, Menzel's powerhouse voice has been heard far and wide. For her return to adult-oriented pop, she tapped producer and songwriter Walter Afanasieff to help craft a sound that's expansive enough to resonate with fans of her stage work while adding a bit of a modern edge, particularly to tracks like the electronic-laced anthem "Queen of Swords," the slinky guitar-rocker "Cake," and the powerful "I Do," a response to her divorce from actor Taye Diggs. As a whole, idina. is by far Menzel's most personal album to date and is a vast improvement on her last studio outing, which framed her strong voice in far blander adult contemporary surroundings, not to mention with less essential material. Largely co-written by Menzel, many of these songs have more vitality and personality to them and she applies herself accordingly to the performances. Not forgetting her wheelhouse, a number of ballads dot the landscape, but even those are less theatrical and moodier than what she is generally known for. There's plenty here to like, and her decision to get personal pays off artistically. ~ Timothy Monger

Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | Concord Records

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Stage, film, and television star Idina Menzel's Live: Barefoot at the Symphony, was recorded in Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music headquarters in Toronto. Backed by the 52-piece Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony conducted by the legendary Marvin Hamlish, the 16-track set features some of Broadway's biggest hits. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Ambient/New Age - Released October 18, 2019 | Idina Menzel - Silent Records 2.0

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Pop - Released October 10, 2014 | Warner Records

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Dance - Released May 19, 2014 | Walt Disney Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released March 19, 2015 | Walt Disney Records

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Pop - Released October 12, 2018 | Arts Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 13, 2017 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released May 1, 2007 | Warner Reprise

Heretofore, Broadway star Idina Menzel has not shown much interest in merging her stage career with her solo recording career, following her featured role in Rent, for instance, with Still I Can't Be Still, an album of original compositions in an Alanis Morissette mold. But after winning the Tony Award for her starring role in Wicked, she re-creates her signature song from that show, "Defying Gravity," on this 41-minute, six-track CD maxi-single. Her "Single Version" is preceded by five remixes, all of which lift her vocal off the track and combine it with the usual relentless beats and synthesizer patterns. "Hani's Flying So High Club Mix" really only sprinkles a few of Menzel's lines in, while the "Funky Junction & Anthony Reale Club Mix" uses quite a lot of it, high in the mix. By the time Menzel's own Glen Ballard-produced version appears at the end, it seems rather tame, but at least gives a sense of what the song is about rather than serving as an excuse to create anonymous dance tracks. (This disc contains a note reading, "Single version from the forthcoming Idina Menzel album," but when Menzel's next album, I Stand, was released in early 2008, "Defying Gravity" was not on it.) ~ William Ruhlmann
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 13, 2017 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released August 11, 2008 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released January 25, 2008 | Warner Records

Idina Menzel is not known for being a pop artist. Rather, she is most classically known for originating two modern Broadway dream roles: the outspoken lesbian Maureen in the long-running Rent, and the misunderstood Elphaba in Wicked, a role that garnered Menzel a Tony award. Throughout her musical theater career, Menzel attempted to capitalize on her fame and go for pop stardom; her first swing at bat was a frazzled alternative album that couldn't find a proper fan base, the second attempt was a collection of Broadway cover songs, something that never materialized into success. Thus, twelve years after Menzel first graced the stage as Maureen, Menzel releases I Stand. In order to create the perfect pop album, she drafted Glen Ballard, the producer best known for his work on the 16-times platinum Alanis Morisette album Jagged Little Pill. Along with Ballard, Menzel co-wrote most of the lyrics and created a set of pop songs for her most mainstream release yet. Ultimately, the result is a mixed bag. Menzel's voice is staunchly characteristic; it doesn't necessarily format to the catchy synthetics of 2007, and the songs feel inconsistent. "Where Do I Begin?" is awkward at times, as Menzel's musical roots funnel through. The tracks scatter between pop, adult contemporary, and Broadway. On that note, though, a lovely remix of the much acclaimed show tune "Defying Gravity" is pleasant on this collection of tunes. "Brave" is an empowering personal ballad which is a marvel; it's a better version of an American Idol finale song, minus the corny confetti. Plus, the dance track "Gorgeous" is a strong, upbeat number which flows in a similar vein to Kelly Clarkson's "You Found Me." Unfortunately, many of the tracks are impressive but not impressionable. "Forever," "My Own Worst Enemy," and "Better to Have Loved" are indistinguishable among one another. And at only 11-tracks long, Menzel really needed to make a stronger mark on the songs in order to impress a listener. Yet some tracks manage to characterize her better than others, "I Stand" is a personal tune that glistens with potential, and "Don't Let Me Down" is a piano-influenced, midtempo piece that appeals to both a younger and older crowd while maintaining artistic creativity. Finally, "Perfume and Promises" is the most "Menzel" track on the album; it characterizes her best. Ironically, she didn't even pen it, yet it dazzles and spins her voice into a weaving ballad of love and pain. Unfortunately, it is one of too few, and there isn't enough creative definition; Ballard smoothed out Menzel's edges too much, to the point where she falls into the crowd of solid yet insatiable artists who are pleasant, if not punching. Menzel deserves mounds and heaps of praise, and I Stand shows much potential in the big-voiced wonder; the tunes, however, don't support her talent and potential. ~ Matthew Chisling

Film Soundtracks - Released September 30, 2019 | Walt Disney Records

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Ambient/New Age - Released October 18, 2019 | Idina Menzel - Silent Records 2.0

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Pop - Released September 21, 2018 | Arts Music

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Pop - Released September 28, 2018 | Arts Music