The soundtrack to Disney Channel's Selena Gomez showcase The Wizards of Waverly Place takes it cue from the series title and serves up a series of covers of classic rock and pop songs with "magic" in the title, bookended by two new originals sung by Selena, including the show's theme "Everything Is Not as It Seems." Gomez doesn't sing every song here -- the soundtrack also features such Disney radio favorites as Aly & AJ, High School Musical's Drew Seeley and Camp Rock's Mitchel Musso, plus the debut of emerging Disney rocker KSM -- but she's the only one that's not singing a "magic" cover, so she inevitably stands out from the pack. The rest all kind of blend together in a rush of aggressive synths, familiar melodies, and stiff rhythms, but the odd thing about the soundtrack is that the softer songs fare much, much better than the harder tunes: Honor Society's version of the Cars' "Magic" stumbles just like KSM's "Magic Carpet Ride," but Selena's take on Pilot's "Magic" almost soars, Steve Rushton's version of "Strange Magic" glides by on Jeff Lynne's melody just as Meaghan Martin's version of Olivia Newton-John's "Magic" is sweetly sighing (and almost as to prove a point, the god-awful version of America's "You Can Do Magic" by Drew Seeley is sunk by its hyper-claustrophobic rhythms, the biggest rearrangement of a tune here and easily the worst cut). These are teen revamps of boomer classics that parents can enjoy too, and there are just enough of them to make Wizards of Waverly Place agreeable.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine