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Friday, February 22nd
The Critics Corner: Albums
All Time Low
Ashley Tisdale- Guilty Pleasure
Sophomore effort mass departure from old sounds
Guilty Pleasure
Name: "Guilty Pleasure"
Label: Warner Bros
Release Date: July 28, 2009
My rating: 4.8 out of 5

Review written by: Spencer Abbott
Ashley Tisdale's sophomore album "Guilty Pleasure" will hit stores on July 28. This album shows much more mature lyrics then "Headstrong;" facing many breakup songs, along with songs about falling for a guy that you know you should never have fallen for, but you just cannot help yourself - and what girl has never been through that? With twelve upbeat, danceable songs, and two slower songs this album definitely meets my requirement for an amazing summer soundtrack.

The first song on the album, Acting Out, starts out with a bit of chatter, then what seems to be a conductor tapping on a music stand. The chatter stops and orchestra music begins, which leads into pulsing beats and eventually some really amazing drums. The lyrics of the song sound like typical teen angst, wanting to break out and not let people tell you what to do, and to just be your own person. Lyrics such as "it's another side of me, I'm actin out" give you a glimpse of what the album will be like. It's definitely not the same High School Musical Ashley Tisdale people seem to be so used to.

The second song on the album is its Alright, It's OK the single to the album. This song is basically the ultimate breakup song. It's about moving past a guy who was just not right for you, and realizing that you are so much better without him and not regretting the time you were with him. Catchy beats make this song fun and easy to dance to, the lyrics are easy to pick up on and sing along with as well. The song is mostly guitar and drum driven, an easy song to blast through car stereo speakers.

Next comes two more upbeat and fun to dance and sing along to songs called Masquerade and Overrated. Masquerade is basically about changing who you are for the person you like to make them happy, and seeing if you like it as much as they do. They have to change too though to someone you want them to be. Overrated starts out slower, but picks up as the song goes on.

Probably my favorite song on this album is the fifth track, "Hot Mess". This song is about falling for someone who you know that you should never have fallen for. When you're around them you basically lose control, and let go of all your inhibitions. You aren't who you usually are around them, but you really don't care. This song is very fast, and fun to sing along to and dance to, just like the previous tracks. 

About midway through the album the song How Do You Love Someone asks the question I'm sure many people ask. The lyrics start off with Ashley singing about how her parents didn't seem to set the best example for a good relationship. "Mama never set a good example, Daddy never held Mama's hand. Mama found everything hard to handle, Daddy never stood up like a man." This song is slower than some of the others, but still not quite a ballad. By the second verse the lyrics shift focus to Ashley and how she was "the chosen child" but became the biggest scandal. She was told she would never survive but survival is her middle name. Though the lyrics are sung slightly slower, the beats are still fast paced. The only thing I don't like about this song is it seems to repeat the same phrases over and over again.

Farther into the album the song "Delete You" is, obviously, another breakup song. But this one is about a relationship that seems to be on and off, and who has never been in one of those relationships? The refrain basically goes through the process of breaking up for the last time, and not giving the chance to get back together and regaining control of your life once more. "Time to delete you. Burnin up all your pictures. Tearin up all your letters. Rippin up all your sweaters. This is, this is for the better. Slashin up all your tires. Smashin up all your flowers. Grabbin back all my power. Cuz the button that says I don't need you, delete you." The problem I have with this song is some of the vocal effects, I think they are a little unnecessary and take away from the song and Ashley's voice.

The album slows down once more with the song "Me Without You." This song is beautiful from the beginning to the end. The lyrics are amazing and Ashley's voice with the piano sounds amazing. It's the kind of song you would listen to once you find that perfect guy, and you realize that you are truly in love and wouldn't be anyone without him. It describes the guy that I would think every girl strives to find. "You like me the best when I'm a mess, when I'm my own worst enemy. You make me feel beautiful when I have nothing left to prove." This song showcases Ashley's incredible vocal range and how much power her voice has. 

The final two songs, Crank It Up and Switch, speed back up and go back to the fast paced, danceable music. Crank It Up is fast paced, and somewhat techno, the music is what catches my attention more than the lyrics, and every time I hear it I can't help but tap my toes or move a bit to the beat. 

Overall I find the album very fun and amazingly put together. It shows more of who Ashley is, and how she has grown in the years since Headstrong. I think that it blows Headstrong out of the water.

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