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Thursday, November 26th
The Critics Corner: Albums
Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens- Identified
Sophomore effort shows growth
Idenified Name: "Identified"
Label: Hollywood
Release Date: June 24, 2008
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review written by: Jennifer Blagg
With the release of her second album “Identified,” Vanessa Hudgens continues to shy away from her famous role as Gabriella in the ever-popular “High School Musical” movies. 19-year-old Vanessa may have experienced some difficult times within the last year with the enormous amount of media attention she has been receiving, but her second album proves that she will be around for awhile.

Many of the tracks have a sound consisting of many synthesized beats and rhythms. Despite the flow of a similar sound, each song is completely different than the next. Vanessa’s album opens with three songs of a similar genre: “Last Night,” “Identified,” and “First Bad Habit.” “Last Night,” a hip-hop, girl empowering song, has a different appeal to the next song, “Identified,” with a techno-pop sound.

The music behind “Hook it Up” is very reminiscent of the Disney Channel Original Movie “Camp Rock” song, “ Hasta La Vista.” Vanessa’s lyrics and voice is no competition for the other song. This song is addicting; you’ll definitely be repeating, “hook it all up.” Other songs to look out for include “Amazed” and “Part on the Moon.”

Vanessa slows it down with the songs “Don’t Ask Why,” “Don’t Leave,” “Gone With the Wind,” and “Paper Cut.” Each of the songs has a modern synthesized retake on the popular ballad. Vanessa’s voice shines through “Don’t Ask Why” and “Don’t Leave.” In “Don’t Leave,” she’s asking her loved one to understand that they “need time, some time to connect what I’m telling you now, you never forget.” Like any celebrity would agree, Vanessa is describing how to difficult it is to maintain a relationship when they can’t always be together. “Paper Cut” is a well-written song that gives Vanessa the great opportunity to show her talents. Unfortunately, Vanessa’s vocals fell short on this song. Without the annoying and loud synthesized beats in the background, this song would have been amazing.

And, of course, there is Vanessa’s most recent single: “Sneakernight.” Although the music video failed to be nothing more than your average hip hop/pop music video, the song is a complete hit. The mixture of modern sounds, synthesized beats, as well as some older jazz and soul beats is excellent. Despite the intense amount of noise in the background, Vanessa’s talent is still able to shine through.

Vanessa’s second album proudly displays her versatility as an artist. A combination of hip hop, pop, and dance songs as well as a few ballads, “Identified” is definitely worth listening to.

Jennifer BlaggJennifer Blagg is a staff writer in the East Coast region for Musiqtone.com. You can contact her at jenniferblagg@musiqtone.com or fill out this feedback form below.

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