A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there are no strong messages, either positive or negative, on this original soundtrack CD. Basically one long commercial for the Duff sisters' questionable singing skills, the album is notable mostly for its blandness.
What's the story?
Diva-in-Training Hilary Duff and her sister Haylie perform nearly half of the songs on the original soundtrack for A CINDERELLA STORY. The sisters sound best when singing together on their cover of the Go-Gos' wonderful "Our Lips Are Sealed," a tune on which their special brand of enthusiastic nasal squeakiness works pretty well. Their solo efforts are less successful. Other artists provide more interesting diversion. The Goo Goo Dolls' "Sympathy" offers strong acoustic musicianship and a genuinely soulful lead vocal. Edwin McCain does a gorgeous job on the well-crafted ballad "I'll Be." MXPX provides some welcome punk-pop energy on "First Day of the Rest Of Our Lives." And Josh Kelley covers Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love" with dusky, expressive understatement.
Is it any good?
Light, airy, and unsubstantial, the songs on this CD are musical whipped cream -- gooey, sweet, and instantly forgettable. Vocal tracks are so overprocessed and generic-sounding that they really do go in one ear and out the other without having much musical impact at all. Ironically for such a "Girl Movie," the best songs on the soundtrack are performed by guys. But really -- this CD is for Hilary Duff fans, and Hilary Duff fans only. The rest of us will never understand.