Reviewing Hollywood Records’ Newest


As everyone knows, Disney has their hands in every aspect of the Entertainment industry. Some more prevalent than others (sorry Disney Pearl), but they all add up to the crazy machine that is the Walt Disney Company. With that in mind, I decided to check out some of the new stuff to come out of Hollywood Records. Everyone knows of Demi Lovato and Zendaya, but there are many others that aren’t given the same amount of time to shine, so I decided to see if they are worth your listening time.

Code Plante is a new DJ on the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) scene that I first heard about during the Demi Lovato Neon Lights Tour (if she is coming to your area, GO! A fantastic concert.), as he was the opening act. EDM is also very popular at the moment, especially for the high school crowd. EDM concert culture is a thing all its own too (and frankly, a little too weird and niche for me). Code has two recent singles out, “Lie to Me” featuring Koko Laroo and “If I Fall” featuring Ruby O’Dell. Now, I enjoy EDM as a rule, but only if it includes lyrics, which both songs have. “If I Fall” is far superior to the former, the melody and chorus are quaint and enticing, and the beat drop is a great one that gets you pumped.

Lucy Hale might be a familiar name to the ABC Family crowd, as she stars on the hit Pretty Little Liars (and familiar to the 4 people who watched the American Idol spin-off, American Juniors, as she won on its first and only season.), but many don’t realize that she is coming out with a Country album through Hollywood Records’ Country division (you know, the label that kick started Rascal Flatts’ career). Her first single to be realized is “You Sound Good to Me,” an infectious tune that is perfect to blast in a Jeep with the windows down on the way to the beach. As a Country music fanatic, I’m hoping to hear her beautiful voice on my local Country radio station in the near future.

Redlight King is a group I had no familiarity with, but is apparently an alternative rock group that is…interesting. “Born to Rise” is the newest single from the group, but it didn’t really click with me. The chorus tries to be something it’s not, with their belting of notes coming off as weak instead of powerful. The guitar riffs were pretty spectacular, though.

R5 is the newest group from the Disney Channel, headed up by Ross Lynch (of Austin & Ally and Teen Beach Movie fame) and their newest album has some fun highlights. It’s about two notches away from being a Jonas Brothers (RIP) copy, but there is enough of a variation of the types of music they sing to distinguish themselves from each other. “Loud” and “Pass Me By” are both really fun tunes that seem like the quintessential Radio Disney fare, but in a good way.

ZZ Ward is a really great gritty, KT Tunstall-esque singer that has a blues-y quality in her voice. The song I listened to “Put the Gun Down,” all about another girl in a relationship, is pretty fantastic. Something very different for Hollywood Records, yet something very welcome. Highly recommend this song.

Now, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is a group that is semi-well known with their hits “Stars” (which may or may not be the most overused song on American Idol of all-time) and “Paris (Ooh La La),” but people don’t realize how fantastic they really are. Medicine is a really cool, gritty tune from their self-titled album, but the highlight is “Never Go Back” from their second CD. An amazing tune that really highlight’s Grace’s phenomenal voice.

Listen and comment your thoughts either below or in the discussion boards. Here’s a great Demi jam, just for good measure.

Marshal Knight
Marshal Knight is a pop culture writer based in Orlando, FL. For some inexplicable reason, his most recent birthday party was themed to daytime television. He’d like to thank Sandra Oh.