I'm not gonna lie though and say that the HSM3 songs are on par with Gershwin or Berlin but they're not half bad either. And I have to confirm that seeing them in the context of the movie absolutely makes them better... they are showtunes after all. And I think Zac Efron does an amazing job, even if Disney's composers still can't get it through their heads he is not a tenor.
I'm a tiny bit surprised by some of the half-hearted reviews on the album. HSM3 isn't any better or worse than the second album (or any other children's album). In fact, if anything, I think since it is not as overproduced as HSM2, this album is better. I can't decide if critics are just bitter or what, but it is just as fun as the second album.
Of course, nothing on the album is quite as memorable as Breaking Free, Start of Something New, or We're All in this Together. There is something to be said for the simplicity of those songs. However, this is for the big screen, and as Sharpay proclaims, "Bigger is better!"
There were definitely songs I was apathetic about when I heard them leaked online (Walk Away, A Night to Remember), but once I saw them in the film, I was just as excited for them as I was the ones I actually liked before seeing it.
Kids will definitely love it. My two nieces were hard-pressed to admit their favorite song after seeing the film. The younger one could not choose but I finally got the older one to pick the Boys are Back.
All the critiques aside... I have to admit, I was a bit worried when the HSM3 singles weren't charting on iTunes hardly at all. It made me wonder if HSM interest had peaked with the second movie. However, my fears have been put to rest. The album came out this morning and is already number two on iTunes and sure to be number one shortly.