11 January 2013

Album Review: "VICTORiOUS: Music from the Hit TV Show"

Artists Featured: Victoria Justice, Leon Thomas III, Ariana Grande, Elizabeth Gillies, Matt Bennett, and Miranda Cosgrove
Number of Tracks: 12 (+1 bonus track on iTunes)
Year Released: 2011 
Synopsis: VICTORiOUS is a teen sitcom about a bunch of kids at a performing arts high school, so, it's only natural that there would be a soundtrack featuring various members of the cast.  Though frontwoman Victoria Justice, for whom the show was both named and designed, appears in nearly every track, other cast members, as well as iCarly star Miranda Cosgrove, contribute as well.

Production Values: 4.2/5
Many of the songs on here are amazing musically!  However, the album falters a bit sonically when it comes to "Leave It All to Shine" (a mash-up of the VICTORiOUS and iCarly theme songs) and especially Matt Bennett's "Broken Glass," which is an iTunes-only bonus track and by far the worst on the album.  Those missteps aside, the music is great.

Moral Content: 4/5
Let's run this down track by track:
  1. "Make It Shine" -- A song about finding fame; pretty much innocuous. 5/5
  2. "Freak the Freak Out" -- A girl wants her boyfriend to pay attention to her.  Contains an euphemism for a profanity, as seen in the title...but that's about as bad as it gets. 4/5
  3. "Best Friend's Brother" -- A girl has a crush on her BFF's sibling; again, pretty much innocuous. 5/5
  4. "Beggin' On Your Knees" -- A young lady is upset because her boyfriend cheated on her; her plans for him are unclear, though she says, "I'll make sure you get what you deserve!" A bit angsty, but less egregious than Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats". 4/5
  5. "All I Want is Everything" -- Depending on how you look at this song, it could be interpreted as an expression of a "gimme, gimme" attitude--"All I want is everything; too much is not enough!"--or a song about living your life to its fullest, a la Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" ("I may not dance like M.J., R.I.P., but I will give the best of me!" "We'll sleep when we're dead, 'cause halfway kinda sucks!"). 3.5/5
  6. "You're the Reason" -- A sweet song dedicated to a certain someone: Best friend? Significant other? Parent? Sibling? Not exactly clear, but, lyrically, one of the high points of the album. 5/5
  7. "Give It Up" -- Probably the album's lowest point lyrics wise.  Two girls talk about whipping a boy into shape, and mention "a game that we play at the end of the night," which borders on innuendo. 2/5
  8. "I Want You Back" -- A cover of the Jackson 5 classic; unless anything related to the King of Pop freaks you out, there's nothing offensive here. 5/5
  9. "Song to You" -- A sweet, innocent love song. 5/5
  10. "Tell Me That You Love Me" -- Same as above. 5/5
  11. "Finally Falling" -- Again, same as above. 5/5
  12. "Leave It All to Shine" -- A bit nonsensical, since two different songs are mixed together, but neither have any moral problems. 5/5
  13. "Broken Glass" (iTunes only) -- A dumb attempt at "Weird Al"-style humor, coming from VICTORiOUS' idiot character, but nothing more offensive than a reference to bleeding after cutting yourself on glass, which is meant as a joke, just like the rest of the song. 4/5
Conclusion: Many of the songs on this Nickelodeon soundtrack are great, but there are times where it falters, both in the sound and the message.  Discerning listeners would probably want to stick to individual downloads from Amazon MP3 or iTunes, if only to avoid the trouble spots.

Final Score: 4/5

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