The ''High School Musical'' face-off | EW.com

Music

The ''High School Musical'' face-off

We compare upcoming solo pop debuts from Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale

In the 2006 TV-movie smash High School Musical, they were rivals: Vanessa Hudgens’ sweet mathlete Gabriella vs. Ashley Tisdale’s scheming drama queen Sharpay. Now their solo pop debuts are competing too. Who grabs the gold?

THE IMAGE
Vanessa Hudgens: The California-bred 18-year-old pulls a classic Grease move, abandoning the Sweet Sandy cardigans and demure curls of her HSM alter ego for a glossier Bad Sandy singing persona.

Ashley Tisdale: The New Jersey native, 21, didn’t get the guy in HSM — that honor went to her Kewpie-doll costar — but she did get the juicier role, and on her solo debut, she keeps it saucy.

THE SOUND
VH: Her feathery vocals are served with a side of sexy-but-safe sass. Think J. Lo for the Mouse Ears set: dance-pop made medium caliente.

AT: Thanks to A-list producers like the Matrix (Britney, Avril) and Scott Storch (50 Cent), Tisdale shines on several hot dance jams.

THE STANDOUT TRACK
VH: Lead tune ”Come Back to Me” excellently jacks a sample from soft-rock smash ”Baby Come Back” by ’70s band Player.

AT: Forget sticking to the 18-and-under market; propulsive tracks ”He Said She Said” and ”Not Like That” are club bangers for any age.

THE VERDICT
Neither will give Mariah a run for her octaves, but Tisdale edges out Hudgens in the Battle of the Baby Divas. Her album’s fiercer and more radio-ready.

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