Welcome to Extended Play, a recurring feature on this here Music Mix wherein we review albums that for one reason or another didn’t make the magazine. It’s important for us to emphasize that this is not a judgment against these albums, simply a tragic reality in a world where paper is worth its weight in gold. (Note: That statement about the monetary value of paper is not factually true.)
This week: The Fame soundtrack, and Honor Society’s Fashionably Late.
The fist-pumping title track is still here, as is “Out Here on My Own,” both sung with pop-Broadway bravado by Naturi Naughton of the B-list R&B girl group 3LW. Elsewhere on the soundtrack to director Kevin Tanchaoren’s Fame reboot, early-’80s disco-soul gives way to late-’00s electro-pop — some recorded for the film (“Can’t Hide from Love,” written and produced by Roots sideman James Poyser), some not (Sam Sparro’s “Black and Gold”). The surprisingly restrained highlight? Cast member Asher Book’s solo-piano take on John Legend’s “Ordinary People.” B — Mikael Wood
DOWNLOAD THIS: “Ordinary People”
These crafty pop-rock dudes spent the summer warming up arena crowds for the Jonas Brothers, and now the Jo Bros are lending their tween-scene cachet to Honor Society’s debut, which credits Kevin, Joe and Nick as executive producers. (They grow up so fast!) Not unlike the JBs’ recent stuff, Fashionably Late is better the more it sounds like Huey Lewis; “Trouble” shimmers with freeze-dried funk licks, while “Full Moon Crazy” is killer sports-bar soul. The ballads tend toward the wimpy, but you can’t say Honor Society haven’t learned from the best. B — Mikael Wood
DOWNLOAD THIS: “Full Moon Crazy”
Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani