Peter Hollens – Magically Legendary Covers, Vol. 1

One Voice Productions LLC

Release Date: November 1st 2019

Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre

Peter HollensMagically Legendary Covers, Vol. 1 (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

DISC 1:

  1. Circle of Life (From “The Lion King”) (feat. Tony Glausi)
  2. I’ll Make a Man Out of You (From “Mulan”)
  3. Go the Distance (From “Hercules”)
  4. Kiss the Girl (From “The Little Mermaid”)
  5. Can You Feel the Love Tonight (From “The Lion King”)
  6. Part Of Your World (from “The Little Mermaid”)
  7. When She Loved Me (From “Toy Story 2”)
  8. Hellfire (From “Hunchback of Notre Dame”)
  9. Be Prepared (From “The Lion King”)
  10. A Whole New World (From “Aladdin”) (feat. Evynne Hollens)
  11. Beauty and the Beast (feat. Evynne Hollens)
  12. Newsies Medley (A Cappella)
  13. Lion King vs. Aladdin (A Cappella) (feat. Evynne Hollens)
  14. Disney Villains Medley (feat. Whitney Avalon)

DISC 2:

  1. He Lives in You (From “The Lion King”) [A Cappella]
  2. Strangers Like Me
  3. You’re Welcome (feat. Andrew Huang)
  4. Lava (feat. Evynne Hollens)
  5. I See The Light (feat. Evynne Hollens)
  6. I’m Still Here (Jim’s Theme) [from Treasure Planet]
  7. You’ll Be In My Heart (From “Tarzan”)
  8. Speechless (From “Aladdin”) (A Cappella)
  9. Shiny (from “Moana”)
  10. We Know The Way (from “Moana”)
  11. Goofy Movie Medley
  12. Frozen Medley (feat. Colleen Ballinger)
  13. Pirates Medley (feat. Gardiner Sisters)
  14. Disney Sidekicks Medley (feat. Brian Hull)

To be honest, I don’t think anyone has heard about Peter Hollens. No, that’s not a correct statement. I mean, surely there are a lot of his fans and followers on his twitter, facebook and youtube pages, but what I’m saying is that the general public, people collectively; don’t know who he is (aside from his diehard fans). Even for me, who is an occasional listener of Peter (and not really a diehard fan, but a fan nonetheless), if it wasn’t for a post on NRT, showcasing a powerful acapella duet with CCM singer-songwriter Jamie Grace (covering a Linkin Park song ‘Heavy’, in the wake of the lead singer’s apparent suicide), I’d never would’ve stumbled upon such a talented and emotive artist. Though independent, and though mostly a cover artist, Peter’s passion and enthusiasm to create art that is far beyond unique, is something of a mystery, even still. With much of his material only created through voice and vocal movements (Peter is an acapella artist), Peter’s uncanny knack at transforming an already familiar (or even unfamiliar) song and making it his own is nothing short of a talent that is indeed God-given.

Unveiling a variety of albums and singles throughout his storeyed and colourful youtube career (each song he’s unveiled which has since been released on various albums and single releases, has a corresponding music video!); Peter Hollens even unveiled to the public his own rendition of the Greatest Showman songs (of which we reviewed the album here), alongside a self-titled album Peter Hollens in 2014, and a compilation in 2019 titled Legendary Covers, Vol. 1 (both of which include a myriad of cover songs from famous melodies throughout the years), to name a few. And so here we are, in 2020, and Peter has yet another offering for us. This time, it’s a compilation of songs that not only myself know, but I’m sure anyone who’s everyone who loves Disney knows- Magically Legendary Covers– a 2 disc album full of fan-favourite Disney songs, ‘Peter-Hollens’-ized’, the ‘acapella-way’! Unveiled to us during a time where we need songs from Disney quite possibly the most; this is a must-have if you have been a fan of Peter’s music and renditions for a while, if you are a fan of accapella music, or even a fan of music primarily living on Youtube (because frankly, that is where all the undiscovered talent really is!)…or just a fan of Disney, or of music in general!

If you’ve read up to here by now, you’d know that this track listing of Disney songs given the accapella treatment by Peter are some of the best-selling melodies attached to these movies, of all time- a lot, and I do mean a lot, of people know these songs.  And while this album as a whole is not Christian in nature, I still stand by my reason to write my thoughts down about this album- because a song doesn’t have to be ‘Christian’ for it to be used by the Lord to show things about ourselves and Himself- in fact, I’m not sure what faith or ‘religion’ Peter Hollens himself abscribes to. But in some ways, that doesn’t even matter- it only matters between himself and the Lord. Other than that, God can use anything that He wants, yes, even the unconventional and weird, even Disney songs, and certainly this cover album; to bring people to Himself if He wanted to. And so what do I make of this album? Let me just say this- that while for me I don’t necessarily know all these songs here on this 28 track album (frankly because I haven’t been up-to-date with Disney movies, full-stop!); I firmly believe that this album is by far one of Peter’s best cover albums to date. Yes, Peter Hollens is not a household name, nor does he have to be, in order for such a project like this to be impactful. Songs like ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ (Tarzan), ‘Circle of Life’ (The Lion King), ‘Go the Distance’ (Hercules), ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ (Mulan), ‘Speechless’ (Aladdin), ‘Hellfire’ (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and ‘He Lives in You’ (The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride), are just some of the many, many songs that have struck a chord with many people who have been following Disney over the years, and all are present here also. Peter, through only using his voice, has accomplished far more than I’m sure any other acapella artist (aside from Pentatonix of course!) and this album full of indeed ‘legendary’ and ‘magical’ songs are certain evidence of this.

‘…I’ve said this once and I will say this again- people don’t have to make ‘Christian’ music, or even ascribe to the faith itself for God to use whatever is created to bring you close to Himself. That is a fact. God can and will use whatever way He knows will grab your attention, and if it through this acapella album, or a popular mainstream album, or through a worship album, then we have to lay aside our own preconceived ideas of what we believe to be inspiring music, and let God move the way that He does. Peter’s new album, be it covers, is as emotive as it is poignant, heartfelt as it is challenging, and all the while impressive with the fact that there are minimal instruments employed to create these indeed masterpieces. Peter’s music is a must-listen if you are a fan of acapella, or dare I say it, if you’re a fan of music, period. Acapella is probably, alongside rap, one of the hardest musical genres people can go into, and Peter himself has undertaken it with much grace and poise. Well done Peter for such a project that is certain to garner new fans moving forward. Can’t wait to whatever comes next…’ This above quote was my ending paragraph for my review of Peter HollensLegendary Covers: Vol. 1, and also seems fitting as an ending for this cover album of Disney songs, as well. For Disney and their heartfelt melodies will always hold a special place in people’s hearts- it reminds them of their own childhoods, and nostalgia, when things where simple, and these songs sung by these iconic Disney characters, taught us things that we may not have learnt ourselves. While I felt that some Disney songs were unfortunately missing from this 2-disc set- maybe because they weren’t recorded, or some other reason (Let It Go, Colours of the Wind, The Bare Necessities, How Far I’ll Go, Try Everything, Friend Like Me, A Spoonful of Sugar, Do You Want to Build a Snowman, and Why Should I Worry, to name a few!); all in all, these 28 songs, inclusive of some mashups and medleys, are a great snapshot of the great songs Disney as brought to us over the years, and the great songs I’m sure they will continue to bring as the years continue to roll on by. Well done Peter for giving to us, major welcomed nostalgia, and songs that are certain to give us a lot of comfort and solace during this difficult and uncertain global time, both now and ahead. Kudos to Peter for this compilation idea, can’t wait for the next album, whatever it is, and whenever it comes next!

Score: 5/5

RIYL: Tyler Ward, Cimorelli, Alex G, Pentatonix, Tiffany Alvord, Megan Nicole

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