Pretty much immediately after seeing High School Musical 3, we each rushed to get our hot little hands on the soundtrack. And though it may shock you to know this, we had strong opinions about the soundtrack, mostly expressible in the form of mockery. (I know! I'm surprised too!) Thus we decided to break it down, for all you wonderful people who were dying to know what we thought of "The Boys Are Back" (hint: we thought it was CRAZY).
Warning: There are minor spoilers in this post.
01. Now or Never
Jess: Aw, look. They know how to spell four-letter words. (Not curses, though, which don't exist in their universe.)
Becky: Each and every time the team spells, uh, "team" I hear T-E-A-L. I've tried not to, since I know what they're spelling, but seriously. Teal.
Jess: I just kind of want to know why the other team lets them have a dance break in the middle of the game.
2. Right Here, Right Now
Becky: More like this please! I feel like they missed an opportunity to showcase Lucas's voice, since it's not a very sing-y number; and if only it had anything to do with the plot at all, it would be BRILLIANT. It's pretty brilliant regardless, though, if only because Lucas and Tizz are the only ones who can actually put across a song and actually act while singing. Also, because it's hilarious.
Jess: Yeah, either Tizz got much better between movies or they learned to write for her voice or both, because she sounds great. And not in a produced way – she's really singing the hell out of this song. It helps that she's putting it across like a Broadway song – all conversation and belts – and not trying to be Mariah Carey. Way to go, Tizzers! And Lucas is splendid, of course. When he sings the bridge my little heart beats faster. Broadway!
Becky: I always, always hear "Ellis Island" when Ryan yells "Buenos Ares" but I accept that I just have a terrible ear for lyrics.
Jess: At least Ellis Island is a physical place. On the other hand, Bollywood, which they do say, is not. Unless they really expect to become stars in "the informal term popularly used for Mumbai-based Hindi-language film industry in India" (thanks, Wikipedia!). Also important to note: at one point they declare that "Sequels pay better." Ahahaha. Yes, kids. Yes, they do.
Becky: Nice, sweet. I don't really care about ballads, but if I have to take one, this is my favorite from all three movies.
Jess: Yeah, this is pretty much nothing without the visual. And did they dub Kelsi and Taylor? They're not usually this good.
Becky: I really like this one, actually! I love upbeat ensemble numbers, though, so that may speak more to my taste than to its quality.
Jess: Agreed. Totally blah duet, and I can't hear the "no matter where life takes us nothing can break us apart" line without picturing the two of them hopping towards each other (seriously, that's the height of Ryan's choreography?) the "all I wanna do is be with you" line without seeing horrible horrible New Troy dressed as a pimp and sexually harassing Sharpay.
Becky: Speaking of which, Ryan sings the girl part. Heeheeehee.
7. The Boys Are Back
Jess: Back from…where? This song is basically pointless if you can't see the LUDICROUS CRACK DANCE.
8. Walk Away
Becky: I like this much better on my iPod than I did in the theater, because I was so distracted by the complete insanity of this plot point (and I use the term loosely, because there is no plot). It's not a great song, but V gives the big girl voice another try; stylistically, I prefer it over her big numbers in the first two movies.
Becky: AHAHAHAH. Zac gives it his best try, bless his heart. But this song is terrible. Spoken bridges never work, ever, for anyone. And his half-hearted scream at the end? Oh, Zef. It's not your fault.
Jess: The spoken bit is possibly – yes, the most amazing thing ever. EVER. But seriously, both of you, you're going to different colleges, not joining opposite sides in the war between Heaven and Hell. CALM THE FUCK DOWN. Also, TROY HEARS VOICES YES. Everyone was always "tryin' to get in [his] head" back in "Bet On It"; I can only assume they succeeded. And found it VAST AND EMPTY.
10. Senior Year Spring Musical
Jess: Ugh. This is both lazy and boring, since we're already heard all of these songs before. And I can only imagine that anyone listening to it without seeing the movie is utterly bewildered (although seeing the movie doesn't really clarify...anything).
Jess: But! Horrible horrible new kids! Why didn't they fall off the stage and break their faces, why?
11. We're All In This Together (Graduation Mix)
Becky: Aww, it's sweet that they bothered with a throwback to the first movie, seeing as how it was, you know...terrible.
Jess: This is actually really pretty, although I would recommend not listening to the lyrics, which, while stupid enough on their own ("We're not the same/ We're different in a good way") are particularly unsuited for slow choral music ("We're gonna rock the house/ The party's on, so everybody make some noise"). I wonder who the soloist is?
12. High School Musical
Jess: Improvisation without a script? And no one's written it? That's…that's something. This song made me physically uncomfortable in the theater. Look, no one who actually cared about their high school theater has anything but miserable memories of it. Years from now Sharpay and Ryan will be recounting the saga of Twinkle Towne Musicale to therapists.
Becky: I totally agree thematically that this is terrible, high school musicals are traumatic, etc. But...big bouncy ensemble number! I love those!
Jess: "Until forever we'll always have high school…High school lives on forever more!" OH GOD PLEASE NO.