After being out of print for a number of years, The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride was reissued by Disney in 2004, the same year that the studio released the stopgap story The Lion King 1 1/2 and its soundtrack, which featured music that also appeared in The Lion King 2. Like the prequel's soundtrack, The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride is on the short side, topping out at eight songs. However, this album might be the most musically authentic in the Lion King series, featuring Afro-pop stars like Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Angélique Kidjo, as well as African instruments and musical motifs aplenty. And, aside from the buoyant, Robert Guillaume-sung "Upendi," this soundtrack is also one of Disney's most consistently serious offerings; songs such as Lebo M.'s "He Lives in You" and the chorus' "One of Us" seem more in line with the artier, ambitious direction that Julie Taymor took The Lion King in with her stage presentation of the story. Performances by Guillaume, Suzanne Pleshette, and Andy Dick add more personality to the soundtrack, which remains distinctive despite the inclusion of two different versions of "Love Will Find a Way," a standard-issue Disney ballad that doesn't have much to distinguish it from previous incarnations like "A Whole New World." Arguably the best soundtrack in the Lion King series, The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride reissue will doubtlessly please Lion King fans who have had trouble getting this previously hard to find album.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares