Soundtrack Review: PROM

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
April 28th, 2011

Rating: 3/5

When most people think of prom and music, one word usually comes to mind: cheesy. Instead, the word I kept thinking of after listening to the soundtrack for Disney’s PROM was "delightful" and (almost more impressive) "age appropriate." This soundtrack is not filled with bumping bass beats or overly angst-ridden guitar riffs that usually signal teenagers who want to grow up too fast or prove they are already young adults with one foot out the door of their parent’s house. Of course it is Disney, a studio that is no stranger to family-friendly, catchy music, but the selections consistently put a smile on my face throughout the film, even in the face of some of the cheesier moments.

As the song titles suggest (“Time Stand,” “In Deep”), the idea of PROM (and the various relationships surrounding it) as envisioned by both Disney and director Joe Nussbaum is an event not to be taken lightly. Despite these slightly weighty-sounding titles, the songs themselves are light and up-beat with lyrics that most high schoolers could relate to. In high school, everything seems like the end (or beginning) of the world, and it is refreshing to see songs that convey those emotions while still keeping a levity to allow them to be looked back on with nostalgia and humor over things that (at one time) seemed like the biggest moments in one's life.

Although the more pop-styled music will certainly not appeal to everyone, high school aged or not, it works within the context of the film and the feeling it aims to convey. Reminiscent of films like GREASE and CLUELESS (pulling a track directly from said film with Travie McCoy‘s cover of “We’ll Be Alright”) where innocence and heart out shine even the more discouraging moments. The melody in “I’ll Be Yours” by Those Dancing Days even sounds like it could have been taken straight out of a John Hughes movie. This slight throw back to a slightly simpler time is charming and the music worked to help create that atmosphere within the film.

The songs are youthful while still remaining modern and not too young that they end up missing their demographic. Even the most risqué title on the collection, “Can’t Keep My Hands Off Of You” by Simple Plan, is filled with nearly silly lyrics rooted in pop culture with lines like, “My blackberry’s filled up with e-mail / My phone calls go straight through to voicemail" and comparisons to velcro. It is this ability to seemingly laugh at itself that keeps the soundtrack from being too corny while still being fun.

The majority of the songs are aimed at getting you on the dance floor (Girl In A Coma’s “Come On, Let’s Go” and the hilariously penned “Not Your Birthday” by Allstar Weekend), but there is a good mix of songs that also hit the more sentimental side of high school ending with Noan Sotillo’s “We Could Be Anything” and “Impossible” by Shout Out Louds. Even the favorite band of PROM’s resident music aficionados, Stick Hippo, has a track featured here.

The two songs that stood out most to me came from bands I am already a fan of (Neon Trees and Passion Pit), but Passion Pit's take on the Cranberries "Dreams" (a song that has been making the rounds in recent films) became an immediate highlight for me. I am admittedly a sucker for bands taking well-known songs and putting their own spin on them and soundtracks are usually the perfect place to find such fare. The only track that seemed slightly out of place in the collection was The Weepies “Please Speak Well Of Me” with its slowed down folk style. The piece worked well within the film, but seemed to have a hard time not sticking out like a sore thumb on the soundtrack lineup.

I do not really remember the music played at my own prom, but I distinctly remember the music that was featured in some of my favorite films that came out during that time and I have no doubt a song or two from this soundtrack will end up on a “remember when” play list. Although innocuous, the PROM soundtrack succeeds in making you feel good and almost went so far as making me want to relive my own prom. Almost.

This soundtrack is available through Hollywood Records.

1. "I'll Be Yours" - Those Dancing Days
2. "Your Surrender" - Neon Trees
3. "We'll Be Alright" - Travie McCoy
4. "Not Your Birthday" - Allstar Weekend
5. "Time Stand" - Moon
6. "Dreams" - Passion Pit
7. "Please Speak Well Of Me" - The Weepies
8. "We Could Be Anything" - Nolan Sotillo
9. "In Deep" - Shere
10. "Prettiest Thing" - Oh Darling
11. "Can't Keep My Hands Off Of You" - Simple Plan
12. "Come On, Let's Go" - Girl In A Coma
13. "Almost There" - Opus Orange featuring Lauren Hillman
14. "Impossible" - Shout Out Louds
15. "Stick Hippo" - Stick Hippo

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  • China5199

    I am trying to find a song played in the movie prom but was not on the soundtrack it was playing during prom when they Nuvo and him finally danced with each other

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