Songs from Instant Star is one of four volumes and a Greatest Hits compilation for the show, not surprisingly, called Instant Star. All vocals are sung by Alexz Johnson, who also played the lead in the show, a character named Jude Harrison. The show is about a girl who an American Idol-like contest and how her life changes after it, and all the new things she has to deal with regarding stardom and celebrity, as well as her relationships with her parents and friends. It's a great show and if you can catch it somewhere, watch it.
What we're going to focus on is the soundtrack to that first season. What's unique about this soundtrack is that each one of these songs was used in an episode of Instant Star and some are penned by Alexz Johnson herself. I'm not going to review every track. What I hope to accomplish is that after reading the review, and listening to some of the songs, you'll want to learn about this show and specifically Alexz Johnson.
1. 24 Hours This is one of the five songs for season 1 that Alexz either wrote or co-wrote for the show. It's got a very rock feel to it and was used in the Pilot episode of the show called "Even Better Than The Real Thing". The guitar riff is very memorable in the opening and this song reminds me of the rock/pop music that was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
2. Temporary Insanity
3. Waste My Time A lot of this album has strong rock guitar riffs. This song is the first time you hear Jude Harrison singing along with a rapper, Shay. Alexz, to my knowledge, has never exactly done this kind of song again. Anyone familar with rockers and rappers joining together for a track should know what to expect here. What this really shows, in hindsight, is how versatile a singer Alexz Johnson is. This is not out-of-place in the TV show at all either, since Jude had a romance with Shay.
4. Let Me Fall This is a fantastic song contributed by Alexz to the show. Again, the opening guitar riff is very memorable. This song's context makes perfect sense in the show lyrically, but on it's own it's just a fantastic song. This is a pop/rock song that could very well ride the line of country is some aspects as well. This one will grow on you.
5. Skin This is an acoustic ballad about heartbreak. In the show the moment hits like a jackhammer. The song is very candid and full of emotion. This song has gotten a lot of people into Instant Star and into Alexz Johnson and that is not surprising once you hear it. It also is not surprising that this was one that was contributed to the show by Alexz herself.
6. I'm In Love With My Guitar
7. Criminal This song is worth bringing up for two reasons. The first is that it's another song contributed by Alexz Johnson. The second is that it helps to show the image they were creating for Jude Harrison in Instant Star, which was a punk rocker during season 1. There's a rock feel all over this soundtrack and rock music is worked in the show as well. Me Out of Me, later in the soundtrack, is in this same vein, but not a song Alexz wrote for the show.
8. Time To Be Your 21
9. It Could Be You
10. Me Out of Me
11. Pick Up The Pieces This is another one of the show's duets. It takes place between Jude Harrison and Tommy Quincy. In the show Tommy was a former member of a boyband called Boyz Attack. This difference is most likely why this song has a very poppish feel to it compared to the other songs on this soundtrack. There really isn't a modern equivalent to compare the song to where two artists of such differing music did a song together. This isn't my favorite, but it is a good song.
12. Your Eyes This is one of the season's ballads. The ballads have a noticably different sound that the uptempo rock songs, something really clear in this line up of songs. What this song does better than any other song on the soundtrack is show what a great singer Alexz Johnson is. She sung every song because she could and this is a prime example of her ability.
13. That Girl The final song on this soundtrack contributed by Alexz Johnson for the season. She wrote this song when she was fourteen, but you'd never know it. Not being a girl and experiencing what she was writing about, I'm just going to say to give it a listen :)
14. Stupid Girl This song is a cover song that was originally performed by Garbage. If you haven't heard the original in a while, or at all, give it a listen. I was surprised when I found Alexz's version the superior one. The guitar wok on this one is a bit different than on the original, but the way it sounds it feels like it's always been there. One of the best covers I've heard.
That wraps up my Songs From Instant Star review. I hope after hearing some of these songs you'll get one of the soundtracks. More so, you'll take an interest in this very musically driven show and buy one of the season DVDs to see how interesting this show really was. It ran for 4 seasons and created another 3 more soundtracks of music plus a Greatest Hits compilation. Finally, give Alexz Johnson a listen. She has some amazing music out there and this was just the start of something bigger for her.
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About the reviewer
I'm a huge Alexz Johnson fan and of the girl group Lady Phoenix. I love One Tree Hill and the good old days of professional wrestling. My favorite movie of all time is probably Fight Club. You can find … more
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Vancouver native Alexz Johnson, the artist/songwriter least likely to enter a singing contest, is ironically playing one in CTV's hit series currently taking Canada by storm. Instant Star features 18 year old Alexz playing the younger Jude Harrison, a naive singer struggling with the emotional highs and lows of becoming a star. This CD features 13 total tracks including 'Temporary Insanity', 'Pick Up The Pieces', 'Criminal' & 'Waste My Time' to name a few. Universal. 2005.