Title - 'The Descendants' (Walt Disney Records)
Artist - Various
For those not familiar with the Disney Channel TV show, 'The Descendants' is a present-day idyllic kingdom where the benevolent teenage son of King Adam and Queen Belle offers a chance of redemption for the trouble making offspring of Disney's classic villains: Cruella De Vil (Carlos), Maleficent (Mal), the Evil Queen (Evie) and Jafar (Jay).
In present-day Auradon, Ben, the teenaged son of King "Beast" and Queen Belle, is poised to take the throne. He offers a chance for redemption to the trouble-making teenaged descendants of defeated villains exiled to the remote Isle of the Lost. The villains' descendants have been granted permission to attend prep school in the kingdom with the Disney heroes' kids.
Disney's 'Descendants' actually marks another connection between Disney and Shawn Mendes (albeit one track) who last year was named Radio Disney's "Next Big|Brave Thing" and thrilled audiences with his performances at the 2015 Radio Disney Music Awards and the Radio Disney Family VIP Birthday on Disney Channel.
We begin this feisty soundtrack with 'Rotten To The Core,' performed by Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce and Booboo Stewart. An electronic beat fest galore, the singers come across crystal clear, the song a really great, energetic way to kick this whole soundtrack off with. Next up is the showstopper 'Evil Like Me' by Kristin Chenoweth and Dove Cameron, and instantly you marvel at actor Chenoweth's vocal heights and depths. That is backed by both the bouncy, finger-snappin' pop fun of 'Did I Mention' from Jeff Lewis and Mitchell Hope and then the power ballad 'If Only' from Dove Cameron.
The group "hug" of a song, 'Be Our Guest' (from Disney's "Beauty & the Beast") is performed by Mitchell Hope, Spencer Lee, Kala Balch, and Marco Marinangeli, and is probably the "feel good" song of the entire soundtrack. That's followed by another, albeit very quick 'If Only (Reprise)', again sung by Dove Cameron, and that's backed by both 'Set It Off' (Dove Cameron, along with Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart, Mitchell Hope, Sarah Jeffrey and Jeff Lewis), and then the main portion of the soundtrack is rounded out by 'Believe,' performed by Shawn Mendes.
The Bonus Tracks continue onward from here and begin with 'Rotten to the Core' from Sofia Carson, which is backed by the Rihannaesque 'Night Is Young' performed by China Anne McClain. A fantastic 'Good Is the New Bad' from Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson and China Anne McClain is next, with the album rounded out in full by both 'I'm Your Girl' from Felicia Barton, and then the instrumental 'Descendants Score Suite,' performed by David Lawrence.