The chunky, high-octane guitar rock of "Don't Tell Me," "Break My Heart," "Your Own Way," and "Everything Can Change" has much more in common with the music on the Camp Rock Soundtrack than the High School Musical Soundtracks. But the electropop thump of "Dance with Me" and "Just Freak," and the massed vocals and poppy chord changes of "Lonely Love Song" and "On the Wings of a Dream" are straight out of the High School Musical playbook.
Spectacular! kicks off with "Don't Tell Me," a rip-roarin' declaration of individuality, and the equally rockin' "Break My Heart" celebrates the idea of a potential new crush. "Dance with Me" is pretty much a filler track, while the piano rocker "Lonely Love Song" is probably the most High School Musical-sounding tune on the album.
The choppy guitar riffs of "Your Own Way," another testament to individuality, sound somewhat similar to Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life;" the anthemic pop ballad "For the First Time" is about the dawning realization of unexpected mutual attraction; "Just Freak" is more dance workout filler. The choral pop number "On the Wings of a Dream" is performed by Ta-Da in the final competition, while the Spectacular team serve up the equally bombastic "Something to Believe In."
"Everything Can Change" is another ridiculously poppy slice of guitar rock that sums up the movie's theme: take advantage of the opportunities you're given, while staying true to your unique talents. The album ends with Up With People-like cover versions of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" and 10cc's "The Things We Do for Love," performed in the movie by show choir rivals Spectacular and Ta-Da.
You won't find anything mindblowingly original here, but most of the songs are entertaining, nonetheless. Nickelodeon's Spectacular! is another one of those soundtracks that will be absolutely adored by fans, and casually listened to, but easily forgotten, by everyone else.
If your kids like High School Musical and Camp Rock, they'll like Spectacular!, unless they are fiercely loyal to Disney's Wildcat franchise or Camp Rock's Jonas Brothers.
Released February 3, 2009; Nick Records