In the Disney Channel's original movie High School Musical, the star basketball player and a brainy new arrival discover their love of singing at a karaoke night, then try out for the school musical and challenge the status quo of their cliques in the process. While the movie's soundtrack isn't exactly challenging, it does feature a pretty engaging mix of music and empowering messages, most of which can be found in earnest ballads such as "Start of Something New," "When There Was Me and You," and "Breaking Free." Meanwhile, "We're All in This Together" sets lyrics like "Everyone is special in their own way/We make each other strong" to music inspired by "Hollaback Girl"'s marching-band/cheerleader motif, and "Get'cha Head in the Game" mixes and matches an urban pop melody with sound effects like dribbling basketballs and squeaking sneakers. The soundtrack flirts with satire on "What I've Been Looking For," a number sung by the theater kids who are threatened by these upstarts from other cliques invading their territory: the song's melody is so bright and the vocals so relentlessly cheery, it sounds like a parody of a show tune. Likewise, the big chorus on "Stick to the Status Quo" urges everyone to just "go with the flow." At other times, High School Musical comes closer to sounding like the usual teen pop product issued by Disney, especially on "I Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and the Latin-flavored "Bop to the Top." Still, the album has enough personality to set it apart from the status quo of the studio's other releases, and the karaoke versions of "Get'cha Head in the Game" and "Start of Something New" will appeal to aspiring singers -- whether they're jocks, drama club members, or math whizzes.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
feat: Vanessa Hudgens