Forget Justin, Beyoncé and Rascal Flatts—the High School Musical soundtrack was the bestselling album of 2006. And the kids from East High are poised to take over the charts again with this collection of tween-oriented tunes from the sequel (premiering on the Disney Channel Aug. 17). It's impossible not to get into the School spirit on tracks like the ensemble number "What Time Is It," a summer-vacation anthem set to a hip-hoppish beat, and the swinging "I Don't Dance"—both cowritten by Robbie Nevil of "C'est la Vie" fame. The highlight, though, is "You Are the Music in Me," on which Zac Efron's Troy and Vanessa Hudgens's Gabriella make the best high school sweethearts since Danny and Sandy.
I'll Stay Me |
REVIEWED BY RANDY VEST
Although this newcomer is an accomplished enough singer, his real strength is his clever, brash songwriting. "All My Friends Say" gives us a dazed, morning-after party boy ("Woke up in my rockin' chair/Holding a beer in my hand/Sportin' a neon tan"), while "Over the River" is an unabashed ode to hopping in the pickup and letting loose ("We'll do a little what we want/After one long week of doin' what we should"). In the tradition of country's four-hanky weepers, "The Car In Front Of Me" opens with a high school homecoming parade and ends with a funeral procession. Best of all is the joyous title track: "Singers wanna be Hollywood actors/And millionaires wanna ride old farm tractors/I am just what I am, I'm just what you see/So I'll make it easy, I'll stay me." Here's hoping.
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