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Various Artists - High School Musical 3 Soundtrack

The Wildcats Move to the Big Screen!

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

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High School Musical 3 Soundtrack
Courtesy Walt Disney Records
The High School Musical 3 Soundtrack finds the East High gang thinking about the future and fondly remembering the past.

The Artists

The enthusiastic voices of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, and Corbin Bleu are back for Senior Year, along with newcomers Matt Prokop, Jemma McKenzie-Brown, and Olesya Rulin. The tunes on High School Musical 3 were composed by the familiar team of High School Musical songwriters, including Matthew Gerrard & Robbie Nevil; Jamie Houston; Adam Anders & Nikki Hassman; and Andy Dodd & Adam Watts. Gerrard and Nevil dominate the soundtrack, their hip hop-influenced tracks accounting for more than half the songs on the CD.

The Music

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.

More Music

"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 Verdict

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

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