Sunday, November 2, 2008

"When I hear my favorite song, I know that...I'm not listening to HSM3."

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: I got a strong sense from seeing the movie that it looks like someone got a fancy ticket to see A Chorus Line! And then stole a bunch of shit from it. In this song it's Troy's "gimme the ball, gimme the ball, gimme the ball," but it comes back later with lining up the students onstage to talk about their hopes and fears for no reason whatsoever. Goodbye twelve, goodbye thirteen, hello plagiarism.
Becky: I feel like this song sounds exactly like it's supposed to; it is the intense climax of a high school sports movie. Unfortunately, it's the opening scene. But that's not the song's fault.
Jess: Gabriella's plaintive "Trooooooooy!" may be the funniest thing that has ever happened, ever. I like how they're acting like he has to go save the president or something. It's just a basketball game, kids.
Becky: Coach Dad is really, really, really terrible. His "Come on boys COME ON BOYS COME ON BOYS" is so hilariously bad I start giggling well before Gabriella's shout.
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

Jess: "I wish this moment was ours to own it/ And that it would never leave." You bastardized grammar and it doesn't even rhyme? I hate you, HSM songwriters!
Becky: Yawwwwwwwn. The scene surrounding this is cute, but the ballad could not be less remarkable.
Jess: Also, sorry, Zef. You gave it the old on-set tutoring try, but the falsetto doesn't work. "You mean HEV-rything!" Thanks, Eliza Doolittle.

3. I Want It All

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.

4. Can I Have This Dance

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: There's an awful lot of background noise on my track. Is that somehow weirdly deliberate? But yeah, this is actually a really pretty song. I think it's beaten out "You Are the Music in Me" for my favorite Simpering Troy and Gabriella Ballad, meaning I can now stand…two of their songs. (Although…Squeaky Hudgens so squeaky! Gah!)
Becky: Perhaps the background noise is the rain from the storm they dance in. Which would make sense, you know, if leaving that kind of audio on the soundtrack ever made sense. Oh, HSM.

5. A Night to Remember

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: I just have so many questions! Who's knocking on Ryan's door? And why does Ryan say "shaver"? We have an actual word for that! Also, "Should I fluff it?" sounds filthy. Also, IT DOES MAKE YOU LOOK WEIRD, TROY.
6. Just Wanna Be With You

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: Kelsi needs to learn to enunciate -- though maybe Oleysa just has a slight accent? Did I dream that she grew up in Russia? Because that could be it, too.
Jess: I think that's either true or I dreamed it too. Regardless, I don't want to work on the enunciation until she learns to goddamn sing Her voice is so flat I fear it may render me two-dimensional. Luckily, Lucas (who is ridiculously superior to everyone else in these films, and can actually play the piano!) sings pretty strongly over her. Yay Lucas!
Becky: Speaking of which, Ryan sings the girl part. Heeheeehee.
Jess: I like that we've spent all this time discussing the half a verse Ryan sings instead of, you know, the song itself.
Becky: Well, Troyella bores me, as always; Tizz does this much better than Vanessa in the mega-mix. Oh, also: "You know how life can be / it changes over night / it's sunny, then raining" ? Kids, that's not life, that's the weather.

7. The Boys Are Back

Back from…where? This song is basically pointless if you can't see the LUDICROUS CRACK DANCE.
Becky: Yeah, this scene is amazing, but the song really does not stand on its own. Though it does show us how much Zef's voice has improved, I think. You know, from the first movie, where it was Drew Seeley.

8. Walk Away

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.
Jess: Doesn't this sound kind of like TLC's "Waterfalls"? Except, you know, not good? It could very easily go into one of her albums. In other words, it's boring.

9. Scream

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

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).
Becky: Well, I like mega mixes. I know it makes no sense without context AND we've heard it before, but that's pretty much okay by me.
Jess: But! Horrible horrible new kids! Why didn't they fall off the stage and break their faces, why?
Becky: Yeah, fair enough. That would have been better.

11. We're All In This Together (Graduation Mix)

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

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.


Mitch said...

OH MY GOD THANK YOU. Improvisation equals no script necessarily equals no one having written it, guys! I love that song in all its ridiculous, but holy crap that line makes me cringe in bad ways. Worse ways than the rest of the franchise. :-/

Claire said...

Going into the nonsensical lyrics hall of fame:
"I let my heart and forever finally learn each other's name." (from Walk Away.) That's not poetic, that's just weird. Also, "I really wish I could blame you/ but I know that it's no one's fault/ a Cinderella with no shoe/ and a prince that doesn't know he's lost."

Also, maybe Ryan calls it a "shaver" because he never uses it and so doesn't know the proper term? I refuse to believe that boy had 5 o'clock shadow before prom. Unless he was planning on shaving his legs? (PS: in Daydream Believer Davy calls it his "shaving razor," so maybe it's a throwback. Or an ignorance epidemic.)

AND: According to the official lyrics that came with the 2-Disc Premiere Edition Soundtrack, MR. EVANS says "Hey, you've been in there an hour, man." WHATEVER. VANCE WOULD SAY NO SUCH THING. Unless they mean the boy playing Ryan's dad, which may be the case since there are those awkwardly dressed kids playing the girls' parents.