Orlando native Ashley J has traveled a multitude of roads to arrive at where she is today – a complete recording artist and songwriting poised on the cusp of immense success. Her public and professional profile is exponentially increasing thanks to the excellence of singles like “Trapped” and the latest release from Ashley J, “Satisfied.” It continues developing her signature blend of nuanced pop arrangements, thoroughly modern, graced with intelligent lyrical content and an impassioned, sensitive singing performance.
The track boasts a near perfect running time just shy of the three and a half minute mark and never panders for its audience’s attention. She exhibits an impressive range of style and vocal moods for such a young performer while the presence of a top-notch collaborative team who display a deep understanding of how to properly frame her talents. Avowed influences like Christina Aguilera, Dolly Parton, and Celine Dion come through clearly in this song, but it’s equally clear she is her own artist and not some mere imitator.
The glossy synth flutter opening the song promises much and promptly delivers. Despite the abundance of electronic instrumentation driving the song, Ashley J and her collaborators never ignore the need for melodic strength and it’s sturdily placed inside the arrangement in such a way any listener can grasp it. The pop-friendly running time means that Ashley J can’t waste time with a lot of unnecessary baggage and she doesn’t – we are swept along from a perfectly sculpted opening into the song with tempered, but tangible, energy.
There’s a relatively exotic flavor to the percussion, slightly Latin, and a fat bass pulse accompanies it. The arrangement immediately establishes a strong groove with the introduction of the rhythm section and Ashley doubles down on her vocal by locking onto that steady, loping backbeat. The effect is magical.
It sets an ideal stage for her voice. There’s an intensely youthful, even girlish, quality about her voice running alongside an adult strength perfectly balanced against it. Her emotive powers are considerable, particularly for a form of music more often reliant on vocal pyrotechnics rather than subtlety, and it brings added layers to “Satisfied” it might not otherwise possess. There are plenty of vocal pyrotechnics however – Ashley J has a voice capable of tackling any sort of material but it is obvious why she’s settled on pop music like this as a vehicle for her songwriting. This allows her the ability to engage the listeners in all ways – emotionally, mentally, physically.
Her lyrical content also illustrates her growing talents as a writer and has a spot-on first line, “This love could write itself”, that immediately grabs your attention. The entertainment factor in this song is considerable, Ashley J is a certain audience pleaser, but she isn’t restricted to that approach alone. Instead, “Satisfied” shows how she’s blossoming as a serious musical artist and songwriter with each new cut and shows no discernible limits.
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-review by Jason Hillenburg
We have covered the beautiful Ashley J over 2 years ago with her track “Dare Ya.” Read it here: