A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the content is appropriate for young tweens, but there's a questionable message on a few songs that promote the obsession with celebrity and fame. Other than that, the album is generally okay for all ages. Think of it like its predecessors, High School Musical and Camp Rock, only with a little more attitude and edge.
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What's the story?
STARSTRUCK is the soundtrack to the Disney Channel musical of the same name. Like many musicals that have come before from the Mouse House, this film combines high-energy dance tracks with sentimental ballads. This time around the premise isn't a high school or summer camp, but the story of a teen idol named Christopher Wilde and his unlikely relationship with one of his few non-fans that turns his plush life on its head. The soundtrack is a mix of hip-hop, power pop, and soft rock, and includes numerous tracks from the leading man as well as several from the supporting cast.
Is it any good?
With so many hit songs coming from Disney tween musicals, it's hard to compose tracks that stand out. Some songs here fail miserably at this task, and sound like weak imitations of far better numbers. Songs such as "Got to Believe" and "Hero" tend to be the slower songs that offer up platitudes and very few original sounds. "I can be everything you need...do you believe in destiny." However, the album is saved by the high-octane dance tracks such as the outstanding title track, "Shades" and the funky "Something in the Sun."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about wanting to be famous. Do you think the media makes famous people into larger-than-life figures that everyone is supposed to strive to be like? What celebrities do you admire? Do you think celebrities have lives that are so different from yours? What are the pitfalls of being famous?
Talk about Disney musicals. How did the success of High School Musical influence other Disney productions? Do you think the musicals that have come after it have just tried to repeat its success? Which ones do you think were original ideas, and which do you think were just copies of the original movie?
Talk about teen role models. Disney promotes new stars that have fairly squeaky-clean images. What do these characters have to offer you? Do you think they are one-dimensional sometimes and don't show the struggles of growing up, or are they realistic?