Quick Spins: 'Hannah Montana 3,' 'American Central Dust,' 'Catacombs'
HANNAH MONTANA 3
It's not your imagination -- there just was a "Hannah Montana" soundtrack released a few months ago ("Hannah Montana: The Movie," currently lodged in the Billboard Top 10). The franchise's creators, having long ago abandoned the pretense that "Hannah Montana" and its star, Miley Cyrus, were anything more than a giant, flashing ATM, have repurposed several of the album's tracks for the just-out "Hannah Montana 3," the latest soundtrack to the Disney Channel show.
The 16- year-old Cyrus is fast growing into a charming, no-nonsense singer with a sometimes grave, prematurely gravelly voice. When she teams with former "American Idol" contestant David Archuleta on the perky "I Wanna Know You," it sounds like a 30-year-old cocktail waitress duetting with Snoopy. When Archuleta disappears on a later, solo version of "I Wanna Know You," you may not even notice.
"Hannah Montana 3" is otherwise divided into sugar-rush ballads like "Mixed Up" and "Just a Girl" (tragically, not a No Doubt cover), which perfectly convey post-tween alienation and angst, and mostly respectable pop tracks like "It's All Right Here" and "He Could Be the One," both of which try hard to suggest a bouncier Avril Lavigne.
The faux-country-meets-"Hollaback Girl" ditty "Ice Cream Freeze (Let's Chill)" is the only seriously terrible thing here, and Cyrus, a country singer trapped in the persona of a pop star, treats it with the disdain it deserves. She'll make a great heir to Carrie Underwood one day, when this is all over.
-- Allison Stewart
DOWNLOAD THESE: "Mixed Up," "Every Part of Me"
AMERICAN CENTRAL DUST