I've seen Simon Curtis around blogs and stuff but I never really paid attention to him. I cannot believe it took me a Nick movie to take notice of this guy, I mean come on. Nick movie or no Nick movie, I think he's pretty darn awesome(I've heard a minute of his stuff! haha.. that's how good he is..). Obviously there are three other main cast members but all the attention seems to be on this guy, even if it won't and will never be on the HSM level.
As I'm writing this I haven't exactly listened to the whole album yet but I'm at eight of twelve tracks so I'm pretty close.
From what I've heard, it's like a mix of Britannia High and HSM. It's got that maturity and Gary Barlow-y sound of Britannia High but it's got the commercial and American sound of HSM. Actually now that I'm thinking of it, there are some hints of Hairspray in it, On The Wings of A Dream is like the mix of all three, I love it.
It sounds like all these other stuff but it's not a direct copy, not a clone. You listen to one song and you know it's a song Nick had a hand in then you listen to the rest and slowly you hear all these influences buried in the songs. It's not an album dependent on the movie as well, I listened to it just like I'd listen to any other album.
I have this thing on iTunes that if I really, really like a certain song on an album I'm listening to and it catches my ear after one listen, I put a five-star rating on it and usually after I listen to an album about three or four tracks come out with that rating and they're usually my favorites. With this album though, I don't have any clear favorites and less favorites, I've put five-star ratings on all the tracks I've heard so far, an extremely good sign!
OK, so I'm at the last song now and the only track I really don't like is Eye Of the Tiger, mainly because I really don't like the song to start with. The rest are stunning, brilliant and every other word I use to describe songs like those.
I don't have time to break the whole album down track-by-track(that'll be extremely long and redundant!) so I'll just breaifly talk about the best of the already amazing.
Dance With Me is very I Dream/S Club 8-ish, from the instrumental, the melody down to the vocals. I love the song, the melody's brilliant. It's extremely catchy and it's got a very Brit vibe to it. Lonely Love Song is very show-y, sounds like something straight out of an updated Hairspray or some Broadway/West End production. The melody's also really amazing, I love it! haha.
Your Own Way is very pop/rock-y, undeniably Nick and it can work for both genders, I can imagine a Nick band like KSM singing it. It's very catchy as well, something you can easily bang your head to. For The First Time is the required ballad on the album, and it's not like Breaking Free, it's more Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now(the Same Difference one..)-ish.
Just Freak is like a Female version of something like Getcha Head In The Game and it's got that dance-y vibe that Dance With Me has. On The Wings Of A Dream is like the climax, the 'My dreams are coming true' song. I love the melody, very sing-along-able. Things We Do For Love is like Lonely Love Song, it's very show-y, a nice end to the album.
If I was to pick just one song from this album to listen to for the rest of my life, it would be Everything Can Change. It's that empowering song plus the Nick sound plus the rock elements and a killer melody. I'm dead serious, this is the most gorgeous melody in the whole album(OK, maybe it's tied with two other songs but still!), and I think it's a very trailer/ad-worthy song.
So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: Everything Can Change and On The Wings of A Dream are tied!.
Better Tracks: Everything else..
Least Favorite Track: Eye of the Tiger. Not a very big fan of covers.
THE RATING: 4.9/5, Eye Of the Tiger ruined the flow of the album for me...
YAY! I finished my first new album release review of the year! haha. YAY!
EDIT: That's it, I'm addicted. I hate this. haha, I don't. I love it! FINALLY, something new that I actually adore, I was beginning to wallow about the lack of new albums. haha. End edit.