- David Bentley
AURORA – 'Into the Unknown' (single cover)
AURORA has been known to record a cover or two. Probably the best known is ‘Half the World Away’, the Oasis cover for John Lewis’ 2015 Christmas TV advert ‘Man in the Moon’, although they also include ‘Life on Mars’. It was the former which shot her to prominence in the UK.
This time out she continues the astronomical theme with ‘Into the Unknown’, her take on the Disney hit for which the ‘siren voice’ that calls out the character Elsa the Snow Queen in Frozen 2 to find her true purpose in life she had already recorded for the movie.
She has also performed it live, for example alongside Idina Menzel (the original singer) at this year’s Academy Awards. The song itself was nominated for an Academy Award for ‘Best Original Song’ at the 2020 Oscars, and marked AURORA’s first Hot 100 position. The track debuted at #55 on the Billboard Hot 100, and saw her enter the Top 10 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart for the first time last year at #8.
She says she wanted to hear the song “with a taste of me in it.”
Well she certainly does that. If you didn’t know AURORA was about to sing it you would very quickly recognise not only the voice but her unique stylisation.
To be honest I’m undecided about this. It’s always nice to listen to AURORA; she has the soothing voice that could calm a mixed martial arts fighter. But doing covers of Disney film songs? While her ‘warriors’ will undoubtedly approve, en masse, I believe this sugary sort of thing debases her own work. And Menzel’s version is, for me, better.
She began her career a few years ago with her debut album ‘All my demons greeting me as a friend’ in which the majority of the tracks were highly promising. She further honed her skills through the two-part album ‘Infections of a Different Kind (Step 1)’ (2018) and ‘A different kind of human Step 2’ (2019). The title track of the first part is one of the most impressive songs I’ve heard coming out of Norway, where there are many impressive songs, and to return to the astronomical theme, light years ahead of this.
But she’s on the fringes of Hollywood now and we have to expect more of this. Que sera, sera, as our Italian friends would say.
Compare and contrast:
You can obviously find out more on AURORA on her website.