DisneyMania 5

Release Date: March 27, 2007
Tracks: 14
Length: 49 minutes
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars

Audio CD
1. Miley Cyrus – Part Of Your World
2.
Corbin Bleu – Two Worlds
3. The Cheetah Girls – So This Is Love
4. Jonas Brothers – I Wan'na Be Like You
5. Jordan Pruitt – When She Love Me
6. Ashley Tisdale – Kiss The Girl
7. T Squad – The Second Star To The Right
8. Hayden Panettiere – Cruella De Vil
9. Vanessa Hudgens – Colors Of The Wind
10. Lucas Grabeel – Go The Distance
11. B5 – Siamese Cat Song
12. Everlife – Reflection
13. Go-Go's – Let's Get Together
14. Keke Palmer
True To Your Heart
15. Drew Seeley – Find Yourself

Can you believe it, we’re already on the fifth installment of the DisneyMania CD? Over the last couple of years Walt Disney Records has managed to get some of the hottest music stars to record classic Disney tracks. However, in the process several of the best Disney songs have already been recorded and now we’re seeing the second or third version of them. With that in mind, the following review will look at each track under the context of previous DisneyMania releases and the original versions of the songs.

The opening track by Miley Cyrus features her rendition of what some might call the most popular Disney karaoke song of the last 15 years, Part Of Your World from The Little Mermaid. A song of this nature has had thousands of variations and this one will probably be compared to Skye Sweetnam’s punk rock DM4 version. Not a bad track, but it fails to capitalize on the spirit that made Hannah Montana a best-seller.

Next up Corbin Bleu adds a bit of his R&B flavor to Tarzan’s Two Worlds. The vocal arrangements breathe some new life into this track while a nice bit of percussion is added as well. With Corbin adding his unique flavor to it, it’s good enough to have been on the original soundtrack.

In what could be a nod to the girl/song that made them famous, The Cheetah Girls cover Cinderella’s song So This Is Love. The mid-tempo bilingual pop piece fits them well and provides plenty of room for Adrienne Bailon to shine. Her true style comes through during the second verse which is sung in Spanish.

Arriving just in time to pick up the pace with I Wan’na Be Like You, the Jonas Brothers single handedly achieve a sound which could be described as Mowgli on Red Bull. Close your eyes and image a tiny club packed with fans going nuts to one of the hottest up and coming rock groups. The energy shines through in this bold piece. If you were disappointed with their recent single Kids Of The Future, this one will not let you down.

Jordan Pruitt finds her way on this release with the heartfelt song When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2. While it will probably not be a favorite among most listeners, Jordan’s emotion takes this number to a level beyond the original performance by Sarah McLachlan. To help her out she’s accompanied by an arrangement that is beyond breathtaking. If she didn’t already prove it yet with her release No Ordinary Girl, she’s definitely pacing to be the best female vocalist of 2007 in the teen genre. Hands down, this is the best performance on DM5.

Perhaps you passed on picking up the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid? If you did you’ll get one of the gems from the re-issue Kiss The Girl by Ashley Tisdale. Due to the song being a huge hit on the radio this fall I’m assuming you’ve heard it.

Making a return to the DisneyMania collection is the song The Second Star to the Right this time covered by T-Squad. They’ve managed to build on the foundation laid previously by Jesse McCartney and give it a little more groove and a lot of fun. Most importantly everything they’ve added to the song works and the chemistry of this new act comes together just as needed.

Probably one of the more anticipated tracks by fans is Hayden Panettiere’s Cruel’a De Vil. While the star of Heroes is able vocally to stand on her own, the track will probably be remembered best in the shadow of the original cover by Lalaine. Musically it follows a similar path that wasn’t received very well.

Vanessa Hudgens steps up to the plate next and makes you think Colors Of The Wind was written for her. From the slower intro to the powerful ending never once does it go out of her range and some nice additions are added to pick up the tempo of the song. In fact you could say that this is such a good fit for Vanessa, that it eclipses a lot of the songs from her debut.

Following Baby V is none other than High School Musical alum Lucas Grabeel with Go The Distance. One must wonder how he felt after hearing he’d follow in the footsteps of Michael Bolton who’s voice was perfect for the song. While not quite equaling the original, Lucas has his moments. He takes more of a theatrical approach vocally and his pure voice matches the feel of the remake. If anything this song is tailored for a live performance. It makes you wonder if we’ll be lucky enough to see this performed by Lucas with a live band on an upcoming High School Musical tour. I’d be first in line to see that.

B5 has become a staple to the DisneyMania diet and the streak of being given good songs seems to have run its course. While they did work wonders with the Siamese Cat Song previously attempted by the Duff sisters, it fails to hit the standard of the CD.

Once again we find ourselves with a song that they could’ve broken the mold for after originally producing. Reflection originally recorded by Christina Aguilera between her Mickey Mouse Club and Genie In A Bottle Days is a classic with a vocal performance that is a phenomenal number many have failed to duplicate. Believe it or not, it appears if you mix it up a little bit and add the Ross sisters you’ll find success. The songs emotion and beautiful vocals by Amber and Julia will remind you of the power they brought to the song Look Through My Eyes. This cover by Everlife is definitely worthy to be the theme song for this current generation of princesses.

The GoGo’s make their debut on DisneyMania decades after their vacation with Let’s Get Together from The Parent Trap. While musically it’s all there, and they manage to add a few bright spots, there wasn’t enough to work with. Unfortunately the highly repetitive song manages to get on your nerves on the first spin.

Getting back to some fun and friendly dance along music, Keke Palmer provides us with True To Your Heart. It closely resembles the version done by Raven Symone that appeared on DM2, yet has a little more kick to it and stronger synth programming. Keke’s fun personality is a nice addition to the track.

Finishing up the CD is what some would call the voice behind the best selling CD of 2006, Drew Seeley lends his R&B friendly voice to make a more commercially viable version of Find Yourself from Cars. While the original country version captured the gritty feel of the film, this one might make the song a bit more palatable for most listeners with smooth harmonies on one of the last songs Drew Seeley recorded with the late Ray Cham.

-T2

 

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