Chris Willman
July 04, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Identified

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Vanessa Hudgens
genre
Pop

We gave it a C+

You can’t blame the 19-year-old Vanessa Hudgens for wanting to trade High School Musical‘s tween fans for actual teens. But listening to her single ”Sneakernight,” which mixes Xtina-wannabe wailing with bossy chanting, you wonder if she’s lost sight of why people like her. Identified, her second CD, stints on her HSM character’s sweetness in favor of dance beats and sensual lyrics — while stopping short of anything risqué enough to recall last year’s photo scandal. Tracks like ”Last Night” boast nearly HSM-worthy hooks. But Dr. Luke and other name producers apply that annoying robotic vocal effect and encourage Hudgens to sing with a self-conscious ”street” edge — or worse, to rap, as on ”Hook It Up”: ”You’ve got the money, money/She’s got the hottie body/We want to party, party!” Right now, this High Schooler‘s musical graduation is stalling somewhere around sophomoric. C+
DOWNLOAD THIS: Hear ”Last Night” at AOL Music.

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