Songs By: Various Artists
Distributed By: Walt Disney Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In 2015, Descendants became the fifth most watched movie in cable TV history. Airing on the Disney Channel, the film stars Dove Cameron as Mal, the daughter of Maleficent; Cameron Boyce as Carlos, son of Cruella de Vil; Sofia Carson as Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen; and Booboo Stewart as Jay, son of Jafar. These descendants of some of the Magic Kingdomís most evil villains find themselves exiled on the Isle of the Lost thanks to their parents wrong-doings. When Belle and the Beastís son Ben (Mitchell Hope) decrees that four worthy descendants shall be free to live amongst the people in the Kingdom of Auradon, itís a bumpy ride, but they soon prove themselves worthy and are allowed to stay.
This brings us to the newly aired sequel, Descendants 2. Mal is uncomfortable with her new life as girlfriend of King Ben and tries to make herself into something that she isnít. Realizing that she is tired of pretending, Mal decides to return to the Isle of the Lost, now ruled by her friend Uma (China Anne McClain), Ursulaís daughter. Ben and her friends head out to the island to find her. Uma has always been irked by the fact that she was never chosen to live in Auradon, but when Uma discovers Ben in her domain, she devises a plan. Can Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay find a way to save Ben before itís too late.
The Descendants Soundtrack topped the Billboard 200 album chart in its first week of release and ranked first on Billboardís Soundtrack, Childrenís, Digital Album and Top Album charts. It also earned top ranking on the iTunes Album Overall and Soundtrack Charts. So, itís no surprise that the folks at Walt Disney Records would want to release the soundtrack of Descendants 2 right away. The soundtrack was made available on July 21, 2017. Hearing the first track, Ways to be Wicked, on promos for the film, I couldnít wait to listen to the rest of the music.
The Descendants 2 Soundtrack features six original songs, two covers of songs from The Little Mermaid and finally three tracks from the animated short series, Descendants Wicked World. The first track, Ways to Be Wicked, is a pop rock anthem that stands out from the rest of the album. Thatís not to say that there arenít any other good tracks on this album. Itís just that Ways to Be Wicked is so incredibly catchy and fun. What's My Name, performed by China Anne McClain, is awesome Ė China has a very strong vocal presence and I could see her using that to go far in the music industry as she gets older. Chillin' Like a Villain is another pop track that is quite catchy. The Space Between is a beautiful ballad that I could imagine hearing on mainstream radio soon. It just fits so well with the music Iíve been hearing on mainstream radio of late.
I canít say that Iím terribly pleased with the versions of Kiss the Girl and Poor Unfortunate Souls. The music is updated for the times and I think that sort of ruins the innocence of Kiss the Girls. Poor Unfortunate Souls is just as wicked a song as ever, but just doesnít seem right in this format.
That being said, I have no doubt that the Descendants 2 Soundtrack will reach the same heights as its predecessors in the Billboard charts. The music is exciting and the lyrics are catchy, two ingredients that make for a perfect score for tweens who enjoyed watching this film and adults with an ear for decent music.