While she's contributed here and there to soundtracks (Disney's 2005 ice skating romp Go Figure, for example), Finally out of P.E. is Raising Dad and Sleepover alumnus Brie Larson's first real leap into music. It's pretty standard fare for the Nickelodeon nation. "She Said" and "Life After You" are slick, empowering pop of the meticulously layered and processed type that's starting to sound pretty tired in 2005, and "Ugly" is the bittersweet, ultimately triumphant ballad. Larson's thin vocal isn't distinctive -- she's interchangeable with Hope Partlow. But on the plus side her team of writers and producers manage some wit and genuinely teen-focused themes, as well as a few memorable melodies. And since so much of mid-2000s teen pop sounds so similar, anything that lends Larson buoyancy and her own voice is a plus. "Whatever" is the album's best arrangement, with a mild R&B flavor in the verses and a snappy chorus, while "Done With Like" ("I'm too young to be jaded!") and the quietly rebellious "Loser in Me" let Larson be the adolescent that she is. The title track is even better. Larson fights through some heavy-handed pitch correction on the vocal and the canned instrumentation to deliver a humorously awkward tale of a girl with rock star dreams who's stuck on earth in gym class. "I play guitar/But your class that won't get me far," she sings. "And I try/But my running sucks/And I try/But I hate doing chin-ups." Brie Larson won't reach rocktastic heaven with Finally out of P.E. But in its better moments she's visible behind its safety-glass formula.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus