No catalogue number
A conundrum. I like conundrums and Ashley Collin’s album “Adulation” is most certainly a conundrum. You see, it’s almost an amalgam – a distillation if you like – of modern day plastic pop music and there were times when I wondered if Ms Collins was trying to disguise, or perhaps even downgrade, her own talent.
Think about it. Success in the music business these days is too often based on reinventing the glories of the past or cloning whatever happens to be trendy. You don’t want to be too different. Taking that into account, it would be easy to dismiss Ms Collins as another plastic pop princess on the way up. Only something doesn’t quite fit. Yes, her songs fit the mould of what makes for radio friendly these days with the likes of “Claustrophobia” (“I don’t wanna be here anymore/ take me back to the dance floor…”) showing Lady Gaga derivation and “First Love” being so American that it very nearly hurts ( I have nightmares about Debbie Gibson). The interesting thing, however, is that listening to the album as a whole (barring the crude and dated remix of “You’re The One” that ends the album) causes you to reach a different conclusion than you would from listening to just one of Ms Collin’s songs. It would appear that she writes or co-writes her songs and I am therefore tempted to draw the conclusion that she has adapted her songs to fit a predetermined framework (a conclusion reinforced by the unimaginative production) and yet she has still managed to stamp her own mark and no small amount of intelligence all over this album. As individual songs, this is all pretty standard electro pop but listen to all the entire album and then “The Glamorous Life” will impress with its seriously sharp wit and the almost calculating approach to audience manipulation in the inestimably catchy “SuperDiva” will make it clear that Ms Collins is easily capable of exceeding what we have come to expect of a mass market attack. Like I said, “Adulation” is something of a conundrum.
I can just smell the naked ambition here and, unusual as that is for a musician from Glasgow, that is actually no bad thing. Ashley Collins will work hard for your money and I suspect that you will need that second hand tactical nuclear weapon that you bought on EBay to stop her from getting where she wants to go.
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