Pros:McClain has a good voice, likable songs
Cons:The first six songs are the best, the rest is only okay.
The Bottom Line: 3.5 rounded to four. Definitely one of the more enjoyable Disney soundtracks out there right now. Too bad the whole album wasn't McClain.
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When it comes to mass marketing, nobody does it better than Disney. Let’s face it. Disney has been thrusting young entertainers on the world for years. Some have been pretty talented such as Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake. Others, while endearing, have had more questionable merit on the singing front like Selena Gomez and Hilary Duff. Most of these singers get their start in a Disney sitcom. In 2011, Disney added yet another comedy to their line-up aimed at tweens. A.N.T. Farm focuses on the lives of five gifted children and the conflict they experience day to day. Like most Disney shows, it was only a matter of time until there would be a soundtrack; the perfect platform to showcase their newest diva in the making, China Anne McClain.
The star of the show sings the first six songs and they are all winners. Especially when you take into consideration the target audience. All the songs are age appropriate, positive and have great melodies. McClain is probably one of the best singers to come from the Disney production line in recent history. One of her most addictive tracks is her take on Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”. Opening with sugary strings, strumming guitar and China’s strong voice ringing out the song grabs you. Then you get some great percussion as the song soars to adorable heights. Her voice dominates everything and you can hear how good her instincts are. If I were making a list of top moments from Disney singers this song would make the cut. “Calling All The Monsters” is a great song for Halloween with a nice little beat for the youngsters. This song doesn’t show off McClain’s vocals but it’s fun which is what the kids are going to care about. The theme song to the show “Exceptional” is probably one of the best theme songs on any of the shows currently. The song has a lot of energy and is really catchy. McClain sounds great on the chorus. Other great tracks include the inspiring “Unstoppable”, a well done remake of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” and a breezy love song aptly titled “My Crush”.
The two songs from other stars from the show besides Mclain aren’t as strong but according to my daughter they are still pretty cool. “Pose” is performed by Stefanie Scott and Carlton Jeffery. Her voice is sweet but is far more pleasant than impressive. Carlton Jeffery serves as an average guest rapper. He is the lead on the other second which is a lukewarm reworking of Will Smith’s “Summertime”. I personally would have been happier if the whole album just featured China Anne McClain.
The last two tracks are by The Mclain Sisters which is a group consisting of China and her older sisters Sierra and Lauryn. “The Perfect Mistake” is a cute little song complete with finger snaps and sugary adlibs. One of the older sisters has a more velvety voice and the other one is harder to tease out. She sounds a lot like China but has a little less power. “Electronic Apology” features the one with the deeper voice and she’s able to pull off a more edgy song. The song isn’t that memorable but proves if the girls wanted to form a group they have a good chance of being successful.
Overall, A.N.T. farm is a nice little soundtrack and most of this is because of China Anne McClain’s stellar vocals. The soundtrack is a four star due to a couple of weaker tracks but overall if you have a tween in your life it will be a hit.
Great Music to Play While: With Family