March 18 – Identified by Vanessa Hudgens
Total tracks: 12
Songs you might know:
My prior relationship with this album: As mentioned before, I had an odd relationship with the albums of various Disney Channel stars from this era. I listened to this album back in the day, but not out of enjoyment so much as to validate negative opinions I already had. While I never had any particular disdain for Hudgens, she always struck me as someone who never would’ve been able to secure a record deal on music talent alone, and instead used the name she made as an actress to make her two albums happen.
All that said, I do remember liking this album more than the Hudgens debut album V (which you can read about here). At least I can remember listening to this. And I’ve even had random itches for “Last Night” over the last decade because that song is a bop and really should’ve been a single.
My impressions this time around: Intellectually, I know that Identified isn’t really anything special. It’s a cookie cutter pop album, outside of maybe the decision to put “Last Night” in a 5/4 time signature. The vocals are passable, but nothing that really elevates the material. Many people have made albums that sound like this, and many have done it better.
Yet for some reason, I still enjoyed going to back to Identified throughout the week. While V was just plain and forgettable, this at least had enough catchy hooks to have some guilty pleasure appeal. While the vocals are sometimes over digitized for my taste (“Party on the Moon,” I’m looking at you) it’s not prevalent enough to be a deal breaker. Yes, the lyrics are shallow. No, there’s nothing fresh or original about it. But if you’re just looking to kill a half hour with some mindless pop music you haven’t heard yet, Identified might be worth checking out.
Who would enjoy it? People who like early Kesha music.