Ashley J – Satisfied
The kinetic energy and passion generated by Ashley J’s latest single “Satisfied” seems powerful enough to light up a city block or more. It’s the latest in a string of strong singles that have seen her venture forth from her Orlando, Florida upbringing, experience a brief foray in Nashville, and now finds her in California working with some of the best high profile behind the scenes talents in the music world today. Those creative partnerships have transformed Ashley J from a work in progress into an increasingly realized artist who has the rare skill for entertaining and illuminating her listeners alike in a full on pop music vein. “Satisfied” definitely contains strong components of EDM, but Ashley J is far more than just some pretty face and body tacked on as window dressing for a shallow musical vehicle. Instead, she’s the beating heart of this song and consumes it whole like true artists always do.
“Satisfied” has an impressive groove that most songs, surprisingly considering the track’s EDM origins, memorably lack. There’s a lot of bells and whistles added to dance/electronically oriented tracks today that rob them of their potential for connecting with listeners and this decision is fortunately one Ashley J avoids. Her focus is, instead, on presenting a well rounded package of her voice and the arrangement. They work superbly together. The synthesizer dominated backing has a streamlined quality that keeps its layered effects from ever becoming too cluttered and overwhelming the listener while the rhythm section has great warmth and a fat sound. It gives her singing the compelling platform it deserves so it can make maximum impact on listeners.
The impact is real. Her voice absolutely rivets your attention from first line to last and shows more emotional variety than three singers of her ilk can typically muster combined. She’s truly a prodigious singing talent likely capable of tackling any sort of song, but she has truly found her fit in this mold because it doesn’t restrict her in anyway and she possesses the talent to change its formulas as she sees fit. The lyrical content gives her more to work with here than most of her contemporaries enjoy and she makes the most of it. There’s some particularly excellent transitions in her range and the way she attacks the chorus shows great aggressiveness, but just the right amount of restraint as well. It’s an all around wining performance that makes this single fly and it leaves her excellent earlier work in the dust. We’re witnessing the maturation of a great singer with this release and there’s little question that Ashley J deserves to write her own ticket from this moment forward. “Satisfied” will likely linger in your mind long after the first few hearings and merits repeated listening. You’ll be hooked for the more that’s sure to come soon.