Album Review

Ashley J – Satisfied

Ashley J - Satisfied











Ashley J – Satisfied 


Ashley J’s powerful new single release “Satisfied” represents a natural leap forward for this talented Orlando, Florida native. She’s made a steady evolution since her first emergence on the national music scene, including a brief Nashville flirtation, but she sounds like she’s truly discovered her place as a pop singer of great intelligence and entertainment value alike. Her material and performances are thoroughly modern, but she connects with audiences in a fundamental way that defies era. The emotive qualities of her voice are impossible to deny and she rides the song’s strong groove with a level of confidence we ordinarily associate with performers much older and more seasoned. She couples that with a boundless youthful energy and passion that gives “Satisfied” an extra charge it might otherwise lack and makes this one of 2018’s most effective singles thus far in the young year.  

The beautiful orchestration of the song will earn its share of admirers. There’s a bit of an extended introduction for songs of this type that creates tremendous anticipation for Ashley J’s entrance into the song. There’s a layered quality to the arrangement exuding warmth from the first and moves inexorably towards the conclusion and it’s arrayed in such a fashion that there’s plenty going on, yet the song has plenty of room to breathe and moves through the listener’s consciousness with light footed gracefulness. There’s an underrated presence of melody firing up the song as well that’s carried by the synth work, an improbable instrument for the task, but it charges ahead and convinces audiences quick. Many commonly criticize electronic instruments for lacking the warmth of analog or acoustic instruments, but much of that comes down to how the production handles those aural elements and advances since the dawn of extensive synthesizer use in popular music have transformed electronic instruments into viable tools for communicating emotion.  

Her singing definitely brings a human quality to the performances. She invests so much emotive energy into the performance that it enlivens the song with tremendous feeling. She has great lyrics to work with and that surely makes a difference, but the quality of her vocal is such that it’s difficult to imagine she wouldn’t still excel with subpar material. Ashley J has the rare talent for burrowing under the skin of a song and owning with all the passion and mastery you hear from iconic vocalists. There’s little question that performances such as this will increasingly frame her career in these kind of terms. She demonstrates boundless talent and potential for growth during each of the song’s passages and doesn’t betray a single moment of uncertainty as the song progresses. Ashley J’s latest single “Satisfied” checks off all the boxes for pop song enthusiasts but sports enough appeal to attract listeners of every stripe. It marks a new opening in her career that promises she’s sure to elevate several more notches in public visibility and acclaim.  


Mindy McCall