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NEW YORK (Billboard) - Before Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers once again invade tween TVs with "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam," fans of the Disney franchise can sing along with the "Camp Rock 2" soundtrack, due August 10.
With the follow-up to the 2008 musical set to premiere September 3, the soundtrack aims to unveil its 14 tunes through a mix of radio airplay and heavy touring.
The soundtrack to the original "Camp Rock," which followed aspiring stars during a summer at music camp, peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 1.3 million copies since its June 2008 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Walt Disney Records hopes to repeat that success by offering more ambitious pop tracks tailored to an established cast.
"We now have the benefit of people having seen the first one and knowing what 'Camp Rock' is," says songwriter Adam Anders, who serves as the music producer for Fox TV series "Glee" and penned the gentle ballad "Wouldn't Change a Thing," performed by Lovato and Joe Jonas. "Last time we had to shape the main characters, but this time we were able to take the songs to the next level."
As the script for "Camp Rock 2" was being finalized in spring 2009, a variety of songwriters, including Toby Gad (Beyonce, Fergie) and Jamie Houston (Santana, Miley Cyrus), were recruited and given snippets of the plot to base their songs on, according to Anders. The songs had to be recorded before cameras started rolling, but the Jonas Brothers' and Lovato's 2009 summer tours made it difficult to block out studio time.
"It was a process of recording in different cities when they had days off," Disney Channels Worldwide vice president of music and marketing Steven Vincent says. Once the Jonases and Lovato wrapped their contributions, the rest of the cast recorded in Los Angeles before shooting began in Toronto last fall.
With infectious tracks like the fist-pumping "It's On" and the slow-burning "This Is Our Song," the soundtrack offers the same diverse pop that Vincent hopes can connect with the whole family. The Lovato-led "Can't Back Down," which finds the Camp Rock kids accepting a challenge from a rival camp, was chosen as the first single because it samples the film's spirit without giving away its plot.
At least two other "Camp Rock 2" songs will be rolled out on Radio Disney this summer. The Disney Channel also has teamed with the Grammy Museum to host an exclusive screening of the film, followed by a panel featuring some of the soundtrack's songwriters, on Monday (August 2) in Los Angeles.
Fans can hear the songs live at the "Camp Rock 2" tour, which will feature the Jonas Brothers, Lovato and a handful of other cast members performing in U.S. amphitheaters. The trek kicks off August 7 in Chicago and will run until September 19 before heading overseas in October.
Vincent points to the synergy between Radio Disney airplay and TV promos on the Disney Channel as the main platform for the soundtrack's marketing. But the impending success of "Camp Rock 2" and its soundtrack might be chalked up to the recent revival of television fare like "Glee" and "High School Musical."
"The musical kind of went away for a while," Anders says, "and stuff like this is proving that it shouldn't have."