Lucy Hale

A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song

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The straight-to-video film A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song is the third in the A Cinderella Story franchise (albeit without any of the characters from its two predecessors) and yet another modern retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale; in this one, the protagonist is more interested in getting a record contract than marrying a prince. That protagonist is played by Lucy Hale, who sings four of the ten songs on the soundtrack album, including the first three. In her adequate voice (assisted by Auto-Tune), Hale sings over standard-issue teen pop tracks, her lyrics full of a self-assertion that would have been beyond the more shy and retiring original Cinderella, as she declares she's going to "Run This Town" and "Make You Believe." In "Bless Myself," she reveals that she doesn't need anyone else to bless her, she can handle that alone, a degree of hubris that might seem sacrilegious if it were intended seriously. But the song's lyrics are less notable than the basic riff, which is borrowed from the Kinks' "You Really Got Me." The album's just-over-half-an-hour running time is padded out with a Bollywood-like selection, Manu Narayan's "Oh Mere Dilruba," a sensitive acoustic-guitar-and-strings ballad, "Possibilities," by Freddie Stroma, and a teenybop version of heavy metal, Big Pain Ticket's "Twisted Serenade," among other mediocrities.

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