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You might say school's out for super-cute songstress Vanessa Hudgens. True, she is still part of Disney's outrageously popular High School Musical franchise, but with this, her second solo album, she is definitely getting closer to graduation. This mix of feel-good pop and finely delivered ballads makes a statement for Hudgens: she's ready for the major leagues. In the wake of the big-time success of her full-length debut V, Identified has doubled the trick by storming the charts as well.
The team that helped Vanessa put this disc together have moved her around the musical palette quite a bit here. It's a good exhibition of her versatility as a pop recording artist. In breaking all that down, what better place to start than the hit single "Sneakernight." This one finds Vanessa singing with her "big voice" in what is essentially a gospel-tinged, Broadway-style number. Certainly not your usual "pop tart" fare. And the mantra-hook "Basically what we gonna do is dance" just won't let you go.
It's a very positive sign that Hudgens is equally comfortable sliding into the saddle of a sweet-and-soothing acoustic number ("Don't Ask Why"), a great pop-dance number a la Britney ("First Bad Habit") or a gentle piano ballad ("Paper Cut"). Wherever the mood takes her, she has the voice and, more importantly, the intuition and sensitivity to go with it. Considering she's yet to reach her 20th birthday, that's quite a victory for precociousness.
With the influence of Latin music so ingrained in American pop now, it's almost considered mandatory that pop artists broach the style. On "Hook It Up," the listener is given a taste -- but it's subtle. The Latin base is there but swirling above it is an electro-dance whirlpool and sing-speak vocals that find Vanessa flirting with rap. Speaking of rap, she breaks out some rhymes on the track "Amazed" and does a very convincing job. All this from such a young girl? you say. Believe it.
For a lot of fans, the opening track is sure to be a favorite. "Last Night" bumps and bounces along joyously. It's fun, it's vivacious, it's... well... a lot like Vanessa herself! Take a listen and see if you can sit still. No chance!
In Vanessa Hudgens, Disney is grooming another of its young stars for the "senior" market. But if her first two albums are anything to go by, she isn't going to need a whole lot of help. This girl's ready for her diploma.
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|Digital Video Formats:||CD|
|Performer:||Vanessa Anne Hudgens|
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H):||0.40 x 4.90 x 5.70 IN|
|3.||First Bad Habit|
|4.||Hook It Up|
|5.||Don't Ask Why|
|10.||Party On The Moon|
|11.||Did It Ever Cross Your Mind|
|12.||Gone With The Wind|
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