Last weekend I happened to be wide awake in the middle of the night and I was looking for something to watch. I was scrolling for who knows how long before I landed upon 2003’s Freaky Friday. Of course, knowing that there is a remake premiering on the Disney Channel right around the corner, I figured I would give it another watch. It holds up really well, but it reminded me that the newest edition of Freaky Friday is based on the Disney Theatricals stage show, not the remake of the remake of the adaptation of the 1972 Mary Rodgers book (you read that right. FOUR movie adaptations and a musical-insane, right?!). Given the fact that the new movie is based on the musical, I thought now would be as good a time as any to listen to the Freaky Friday Studio Cast Recording for the first time. Heads up, the four songs marked with “*” are four out of the eight confirmed to be in the film, according to an Oh My Disney! article.
Track 1: “Prologue”
I love a show that starts with the characters telling the story after it happened. It makes me excited and more invested in the characters right off the bat. This song is pretty short and leads right into what I assume is the opening number.
Track 2: “Just One Day”*
Okay so first of all, when the movie premieres, I fully expect the “just one simple, awesome, crazy, kickass day” lyric to be changed, obviously. Emma Hunton is not playing the role of Ellie in the movie, but I am really into her vocals on this song. This song is pure Broadway Opening Number: exposition, introduction to our main characters, a key change when everyone sings together in harmony for the last chorus…it’s great and gets me pumped for the story ahead. According to the article I mentioned earlier though, this song is a duet between Ellie and Katherine, so I wonder how they changed it for the movie.
Track 3: “The Hourglass”
This song might as well be called “Just One Day (Reprise)” because that’s essentially what it is. It rehashes the bickering relationship between mother and daughter the musical is based around while keeping in tune with the opening number. I wouldn’t be surprised if the movie pulls from this song for the “Just One Day” duet. In my head the two of them are probably having an argument while fighting over the hourglass and it breaks at the end of the song, causing them to switch.
Track 4: “I Got This”*
I was not expecting this song to be as upbeat and danceable as it is, wow! I fully expected the two women to be snarky about how simple each other’s lives were and I got that, but it was interesting to hear the song evolve into Ellie’s high school and being introduced to some of the supporting characters. Jason Gotay, though not in the movie, has a distinct swoon-worthy voice that I hope gets used again later on. Also shout out to Emma Hunton’s “I…don’t…know” at the very end of the song, it reminded me that she is in for a weird ride.
Track 5: “What You Got”
God bless Heidi Blickenstaff, honestly, the woman has pipes for days. This song is surprisingly empowering. Based on the lyrics it sounds like Ellie (as Katherine) is giving credit to Katherine’s staff for a job well done, while of course taking aim at her mother’s controlling personality. We also get a sliver of insight into Ellie’s feelings about her mother’s wedding, which were previously unknown.
Track 6: “Oh, Biology”*
Wow, okay. “Oh, Biology, what have you done to me?” the anthem of tweens, teens and young adults everywhere. I’m curious to see if the lyrics are changed at all on this one. This song took a different turn from I was expecting. I thought this was going to be Katherine (as Ellie) getting nostalgic about her love of the science class. And sure, it started out that way, but then it turns into I forgot what hormones are, how I cope? real quick. It was refreshing to hear that struggle play out in song.
Track 7: “Vows”
How sweet! I am really glad the writers of this show decided to give Mike a song, especially this one. The fact that he claims to not be a man of many words, yet pens these beautifully crafted vows shows just how deeply he cares for Katherine. The song is only two minutes long, so I hope it sneaks its way into the Disney Channel movie.
Track 8: “Busted”
There is no way the Disney Channel is going to let this song anywhere near its network in its current incarnation which sucks because this is hysterical. One of the best parts about Freaky Friday its many adaptations is when the parents and kids realize they may have more in common than they realized. I really hope they find a way to clean up the lyrics of this song because not only do I think it is detrimental to the storytelling, but I would be really curious to see what this one looks like as a performance number.
Track 9: “Somebody Has Got to Take the Blame”
Based on the trailer of the movie, I don’t think this will be one of the eight songs included. It seems like this scene is going to be talked through, but if I ‘m wrong, I would love to see how over-the-top the adults in this number are because this seems like they are WAY over-the-top. I like the subtly of Katherine trying to defend her daughter while in her body. Don’t think I didn’t catch that.
Track 10: “Watch Your Back”
I’m not sure what is happening exactly in this song but it depicts the horrors of high school P.E. so I agree 100%. Based on that, every teen movie ever, and the phrase ‘watch your back’, my assumption is that the class is partaking in a grueling dodgeball game where Katherine as Ellie does something to betray Ellie’s real friends while pandering to the popular kids. This song is the most intriguing by far, only because I can’t exactly pinpoint what is going but I like it! I hope the Disney Channel finds a way to include this. I think a gym scene would work really well in a DCOM (just look at High School Musical’s “Getcha Head in the Game”).
Track 11: “Parents Lie”
I needed a minute to process this song. Hearing how Ellie feels about her parents, in the body of her parent, talking to her little brother (in my interpretation of the song she is talking to Fletcher, I actually looked to fact check this, but there are no in-depth summaries of this show on the internet) is heart-wrenching. This song feels painfully relatable and has the perfect blend of honest emotions and untestable teen angst. This better be in the small screen version. Bravo.
Track 12: “Just One Day (Reprise)”
Oh my goodness there’s an actual reprise! And it feels like an act closer (just checked-it’s the act one finale)! Wow, I must say, so far this album is way more fun, funny and heartwarming than I expected it to be! I think it’s really smart that they end the act here because we don’t need to see the rest of the rehearsal inner, we already know it was a disaster. I like the way this song reminds us of where every character is at this point of the story, that’s the best kind of act finale. Onto act 2!
Track 13: “Not Myself Today”
YES. FINALLY. I was waiting for a song that showcased Ellie and Katherine realizing just how difficult the other’s life is. This is such a smart way to do it. Wow, I’m so glad Ann Harada was given a chance to shine here! I find that her talent is vastly underrated. I wasn’t really sure why se was featured until I figured she was probably out helping with the search for Fletcher.
Track 14: “Women and Sandwiches”
...WHAT? I don’t know which thought is more dominant right now: a) How impressive it is that the writers found two whole minutes worth of ways to compare women and sandwiches or b) Where on Earth does this song come into play in the story? Either way...definitely a bizarre listen.
Track 15: “Bring My Baby (Brother) Back Home
This song is a bit of a departure from the rest of the sound on this album. So far it’s been modern pop showtune, but this one brings me back to the likes of “Hairspray” and I dig it. I love the fact that as the song progresses, the louder and erratic the singer becomes. Like there are so many riffs and tricks and key changes by the end of this. I would like to think that it symbolizes the Blake family’s increasing desperation while trying to find Fletcher. Also the belting on this song? Ridiculous. So so good.
Track 16: “Go”*
The last of the songs confirmed upcoming movie screams ‘Disney Channel Original Movie.’ I mean that as a compliment. It has the “looking for yourself” theme, that somehow-so-good-despite-how-cheesy-it-is sound DCOMs are known for, and it’s a huge ensemble number. I’m the most excited about how this number will pay out on screen.
Track 17: “After All of This and Everything”
This is such a tender moment for Ellie. It sounds like she does a lot of growing up in this song. Seemingly talking to a sleeping Fletcher, she is finally starting to address some of her own issues. I really appreciate the balance of lyrical simplicity with complicated character arch demonstrated in this song.
Track 18: “No More Fear”
So many times in movies and TV we see adults, parents especially, complacent in their lives. They float from day to day just living instead of being alive. I love that this song, albeit in a teenager’s body, is Katherine not wanting that mindset for herself anymore. I think that’s a cool perspective to have on parents and I’m glad there’s a song out there reflective of how parents feel.
Track 19: “The Other Hourglass”
PLOT TWIST! I was not expecting the hourglass to not be working based on everything I’ve heard so far and with one song left! Oh boy.
Track 20: “Today and Ev’ry Day”
Well that was a rollercoaster. For the first half of the song I really thought they were actually going to stay the same throgh the song and I wouldn’t have heard a conclusion. Luckily for me that was not the case and a happy ending, though sort of rushed in my opinion, was delivered.
Be sure to catch the premiere of Freaky Friday on August 10, 2018 at 8/7c on Disney Channel! If you don’t want to wait, stream the Studio Cast Recording I just listened to here.