If the soundtrack to Ella Enchanted is anything to go by, then Anne Hathaway is one of the luckiest girls in the world: she gets to be a princess in the movie and a pop singer on its soundtrack. Though the film is technically a Miramax offering, the soundtrack is downright Disney, gathering songs from the studio's stable of prefab teen pop singers, including Kari Kimmel's "It's Not Just Make Believe," Raven's "True to Your Heart," and the Beu Sisters' "Once Upon a Broken Heart." However, Kelly Clarkson out-sings them all on "Respect," which, despite its canned-sounding accompaniment, makes the most of her voice. Appropriately enough for a film about an enchanted girl who must save a princess, the soundtrack focuses on songs with romantic and magical themes; however, the results are mixed, ranging from Stimulator's lackluster cover of Olivia Newton-John's early-'80s gem "Magic" to Darren Hayes' version of Electric Light Orchestra's "Strange Magic," which has nearly as much syrupy soft rock appeal as the original. Hathaway is a decent singer: her duet with Jesse McCartney, "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart," shows off the pretty tone and personality of her singing. Later, she's saddled with the difficult task of covering Queen's "Somebody to Love," which is just too much song for her voice; the results sound like she's singing at a high-school talent show. Indeed, most of the Ella Enchanted soundtrack plays like a souped-up school musical, although that does give it sort of an awkward charm.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares