Satisfied E.P. – Ashley J (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

satisfied-ep-art_previewAs the teaser tracks that preceded this EP release crossed my path, it was easy to build up a great impression of Ashley J. Here was a girl who revelled in a classic pop sound but who was pushing that sound into the future. No backward glances to past heroes, no reinventions, no nostalgia trips, pastiche or plagiarism or if there is it is all very well hidden by her own originality, just the sound of the pop-dance torch being picked up and carried forward. Whilst the singles that are already out in the big wide world make up the first three tracks of the album, hearing them back to back really underlines the prowess of the artist and the listening experience as a whole.

Trapped is big, bold and infectious, Satisfied is the ultra slick chill out built on restraint and minimalism and the title track reminds us that you need to forget all of the gimmicks and gameplay, the marketing ploys and profile pumping guest slots, unless you have a great song you might as well go back to the drawing board. And Unbreakable is a great song, one which gets straight to the point, is full of vibrancy and groove and which is pretty much a signpost to the dance floor.

The remaining two tracks are anything but fillers alongside the three existing single releases. Like You Used To sparkles with the perfect mix of old-school pop soul and chilled, cutting edge dance and the final offering When I Come Home To You is a heady blend of shimmering dance and late night smokey vibes.

As expected the Unbreakable is a pop master class, a reminder of how important it is to get the fundamentals right. Now the songs are out in the public you can remix them till your heart’s content, invent dance routines, re-imagine and reinvent them all you want but the fact that they began public life near perfect in the first place is why nothing you do to them will cause them to be anything other than future classics. If they aren’t already!


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