The official soundtrack to the upcoming reboot of The Lion King hit streaming services on Thursday (July 11), giving fans of the beloved Disney classic their first taste of the songs from the anticipated Jon Favreau-directed re-imagining, out in theaters on July 19.
The 19-track album (featuring nine moving score pieces by composer Hans Zimmer) opens with the soaring "Circle of Life," of course, before moving into the jaunty "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," with JD McCrary (young Simba) and Shahadi Wright Joseph (young Nala) doing vocal battle with a very exasperated Zazu, voiced by John Oliver. And you have definitely never "Hakuna Matata"'d like this before, thanks to comedian/actors Billy Eichner (Timon) and Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) adding some of their signature wacky energy to the classic. Plus, this time the fart joke makes it into the final cut.
The centerpiece, though, is Beyoncé (Nala), Eichner, Rogen and Donald Glover (Simba) soaring to the highest heights on the Oscar-winning "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," with Glover trading in his Childish Gambino swag for some serious swooning. Queen Bey gets her solo shot on the big-beat ballad "Spirit," turning into one of her signature tour de force vocal clinics over thumping drums and handclaps. The album also contains the disco-fied Elton John tune "Never Too Late." Not to be outdone, Chiwetel Ejiofor puts on his scariest Scar voice for the menacing "Be Prepared." South African producer/composer/singer Lebo M. also appears on the tracks "He Lives in You" and "Mbube."