Ashley Tisdale – Headstrong
Length: 45 minutes
Release Date: February 6, 2007
After a year of riding the rollercoaster named High School Musical we finally get a chance to see the real Ashley Tisdale. Up until now she’s released a few songs that were fun, but nothing that really pushed her abilities or showed us what was on the mind of this emerging star.
Kicking off the CD is an Intro that’s designed to give you the goose bumps that hit you prior to the first note at an arena concert. It builds with anticipation and features melodies contained on this forty-five minute solo effort. It blends into the first song, So Much For You which gives you a good idea that this is a pop oriented release with strong enough beats to keep any club moving. However it’s just a warm-up for Ashley’s first real single He Said, She Said which lyrically and musically is her most mature effort. While it’s got an edge, it’s still miles from the current CHR landscape.
Good To Me rolls through with a mid-tempo dance track that features an additional rap segment leading up to the bridge. Next, Not Like That is the first track to get inside the head of the chick that hits spots in her flip flops. The first ballad Unlove You features yet another change stylistically with an emotional charged track that drifts close to the theater.
Positivity picks everything back up and puts the pop oriented bounce back into Ashley’s step with a strong track. It features a flowing lyric and stacked harmony similar to the style that put Stacie Orrico at the top of the charts a few years back. Following the fun track we move on to another song, Love Me For Me that returns to theme of this release of being who you are and being strong despite imperfections.
As expected, Going Crazy is another dance track with a strong anthem flavored chorus, while Over It feels lyrically and musically closest to songs from the Britney era. Out of these three songs clustered together Don’t Touch is the winner with the strongest message and music.
Next we’re treated to two songs back to back from the High School Musical Tour. We’ll Be Together explores the issues of being in love while yet young with conviction. A topic that is sure to connect with the majority of Ashley’s fans. Headstrong builds and builds to the strong chorus as the smoke shoots up from under the stage. Even if you didn’t see this one performed live it’s got just as much energy. While this song will get its comparisons to Gwen Stefani, it’s important to remember that Gwen is not the first nor the only one to sing the style she’s often credited with.
The album closes with Suddenly which chronicles Ashley’s life and the dreams that have been fulfilled while still being the same girl she was when it all started and that core of that girl is what is most important.
Clearly the wait for this release was worth it. Each song builds on her strengths and vocally she experiments with several directions that provide a lot of balance to her first solo effort. To date, this is the best full length effort from a cast member of High School Musical filled with passion and energy that places it in the category of must have releases for 2007.