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PRINCESS DIARIES, THE: SOUNDTRACK

The pink coating of the CD tells the story. This is a fairy floss compilation of lollipop songs, sweet and insubstantial in every way. The only tinge to the overriding cheerfulness is the picture of the film’s co-star, Julie Andrews, on the booklet cover. We know the sound of this music won’t feature her voice, as it was confirmed within the past twelve months that she will never sing again, the tragic result of throat surgery.

Fortunately, she is represented by some rather impressive young vocal talent, none in her league, and none with particular charisma, but with strength, tone and accuracy that are not to be sniffed at in this world of melodic fluff.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of craftsmanship in the songs and practically no artistry. About the only images they inspire are of talented session types punching in drum programs and tweaking the mix. There is admirable effort in adding entertainment value, with every track replete with its share of gimmicky arrangements, instrumental variation and layered vocals. The reverbs are state-of-the-art and everything is compressed so that it jumps out of the speakers with overwhelming brightness. Instant gratification with all the dynamics, and thus subtlety, sucked out of it. But none of the tracks are write-offs and a couple rise above the pack.

Youngtown’s Away With The Summer Days, with its cheesy-toned but hypnotic guitar pattern, winning melody and a hint of romantic whimsy, never threatens to break free of the bauble wrap, but shines like a gem in this company. And while Crush is not Jennifer Paige’s above average, radio-friendly hit from 1998, it does have a melodic flavour that lingers longer than the most of the other ear candy on this menu.

However, the more famous names merely blend to the mould. Hanson, a sibling trio of prodigious talent, are the most disappointing with the vacuous Wake Up (I’ll refrain regarding the title, though it really is asking for it); and The Backstreet Boys do their usual tight production, crisp harmonies and overall vapidity thing, but are outshone by Krystal Harris, a signing to their own fledgling record label, who opens the CD (and the film) with the boldly assertive SuperGirl.

Polished so that it twinkles like a tiara, and lacquered with lyrics sure to flutter the hearts of adolescent romantics—and unlikely to make a dent in literary circles—this confection collection isn’t exactly my cup of cocoa, but it’s bound to appeal to sparkle-eyed princesses who look pretty in pink
Brad Green

Published September 13, 2001

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TRAILER

SOUNDTRACK CLIPS:
Track 8 - Away With The Summer Days
Track 1 - Supergirl

TITLE: Princess Diaries, The

ID: 397603 343629

Walt Disney

ARTISTS: Krystal Harris, Aaron Carter, BBMak, 3Gs, Backstreet Boys, Myra, Nobody’s Angel, Youngstown, Mandy Moore, Hanson, Steps, Melissa Lefton, Lil’ J, B’Witched, Mpulz

TRACKS: 15

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