The High School Musical 3 Soundtrack kicks off with "Now or Never," highlighting the last basketball game of the season, complete with dramatic pauses filled with heartbeats and crowd noises. The power ballad "Right Here, Right Now" celebrates teen love while casting a wary eye at the life changes brought on by the upcoming graduation.
The Broadway blowout "I Want It All" is pretty much a rewrite of "Fabulous" from the High School Musical 2 Soundtrack, but this one's about making it big in show biz rather than being pampered while sitting next to your parents' pool. "Can I Have This Dance" is a waltzing ballad about eternal love, while the humorous "A Night to Remember" finds the girls looking forward to Senior Prom as much as the guys are dreading it. And "Just Wanna Be with You" is a radio-friendly pop ode to eternal friendship.
"The Boys are Back" sounds like it's from Michael Jackson's Dangerous album, and "Walk Away" sounds very similar to TLC's "Waterfalls" (even played in the same key!). "Scream" begins as a quiet ballad, then transforms into a fuzz guitar-fueled rocker. It's the most interesting and appealing song on the album, just because it doesn't sound like everything else.
The eight-minute "Senior Year Spring Musical" begins with the new song "Last Chance" and reprises "Now or Never," "I Want It All," "Just Wanna Be with You," and "A Night to Remember." "We're All in This Together" is brought back from the first High School Musical Soundtrack as a slower, more gospel-influenced version, made-to-order for the movie finale. The album ends fittingly with the superpoppy "High School Musical," as the kids cherish their Wildcat memories but look forward to the future.
The music production is a little bigger and slicker for the silver screen debut of High School Musical, but expect more of the same, song-wise. "Just Wanna Be with You" and "Scream" will probably stick with you longer than the rest of the songs, but generally this is extremely nice and innocent pop music for fans of the movie.
Released October 21, 2008; Walt Disney Records