Yes I know that Ashley Tisdale is as mainstream as you can get for pop music, however, I always review music first and not popularity. Lest I remind you all, that I hardly listen to popular radio stations, and not for what you probably think. I just got bored with all the commercials and radio DJ’s incessant chatter. I never had a problem with popular/mainstream music itself.
But I digress, back to Ashley Tisdale’s upcoming sophomore album “Guilty Pleasure”. It will be released on Tuesday July 28th, 2009 to much fanfare. The nature of a celebrity of Ashley’s stature (@ashleytisdale), who has already exceeded over 1,000,000 twitter followers making her one of Twitter’s top accounts. This alone assures her a probable strong showing in sales. Also, the fact that her fans and followers are strongest in the teenager demographic, only helps her cause. She has built this strong fan following primarily over her role in the Disney T.V. show “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”, her appearances in the “High School Musical” movies, and of course her music/debut album.
What’s also interesting with this 24 year old pop singer/actress, is that she attempting to doing a “double feature” with her upcoming projects. Not only is her album releasing July 28th, but her new 2oth Century Fox film, “Aliens in the Attic” opens Friday July 31st. Smart marketing and P.R. as she will get a ton of publicity in the next few weeks, that the majority of other musicians could only dream of.
Her corporate/music label advantages aside, the album’s not too shabby on own merits (in the summer fun way). First of all, I would definitely class her in the Avril Lavigne pop/rock genre with a few interesting tracks in varying music styles. The cool bit is that Ashley isn’t trying to pretend to be an “artiste/musician”, but is just having fun, making catchy pop tunes that her fans will dig. Her vocals are tinged with a sweetness, that is fun, and sufficiently strong. The backing band/musicians sounds decent, and don’t try to overplay, but hit all the catchy hooks with aplomb.
The lyrics are again light and geared straight to the heart of the topics all teens like to sing/hear about (i.e. rebellion, relationships, gossip, etc.). I guarantee her singles will play heavily on all radio playlists because her popularity and her music is so catchy (i.e. easy to remember/sing-a-long to). And that’s her point, as I think she knows her music is good enough to be a “guilty pleasure”. What I mean by this, is that her music will probably transcend age demographics on this album because she most definitely has the cross over appeal of an Avril, Miley Cyrus, and early Britney Spears. Ashley Tisdale has that wholesome “girl next door” quality that parents are accepting to, however, let’s just hope she doesn’t go down the “Britney” sexual musical path (Ashley doesn’t need to, her popularity is already immense).
Her producers did a great job and the sound quality is top notch, however, a little too much treble/tinny (I prefer a strong rhythm/bass bottom end in the mix). I like the fact that she tried to mix up her album songs with tracks with a R&B flavor, Hip Hop, ballads, etc. Mixing it up definitely shows she’s isn’t afraid to try new things to grow and mature with her music.
In summary, a good effort, a fun album with catchy pop hooks, clean/sweet vocals from a rising star – and potential superstar in the music industry. Have a great summer Ashley, you’re report card was alright, it’s O.K!
My Favorite Tracks on “Guilty Pleasure”
Acting Out, Switch, What If, Me Without You
Tell Me Lies (Performance)
What If (Performance)
Hot Mess (Performance)
It’s Alright, It’s OK (Performance)
It’s Alright O.K. (official video)
Ashley Tisdale’s Youtube channel
Ashley Tisdale’s Myspace
Ashley Tisdale – “Guilty Pleasure”
The tracks are:
1. Acting Out
2. It’s Alright, It’s OK
5. Hot Mess
6. How Do You Love Someone
7. Tell Me Lies
8. What If
9. Erase & Rewind
11. Delete You
12. Me Without You
13. Crank It Up
~ Jason Chu