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‘Symptoms’ by Ashley Tisdale: High School Musical or Not?

A comeback where you can clearly see the artist has grown.

Alexandra Cox

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Ashley Tisdale is one of the most well known characters in this Disney Channel hit movie High School Musical and has officially come back into the music scene with her new album Symptoms.

She uses techno undertones for her tracks, light airy beats with a warm bass tone which allows the music to do a lot of the work. She takes a quieter and less forceful approach to mesh with the music.

This pop oriented album highlights her vocal tone while also hitting the target audience of young adults who know her from her iconic role.

Changing with the times —since every minute brings something new — when it comes to your audience can be a tricky thing to master.

Tisdale starred in a movie that was targeted at the ‘tween’ culture of the world back in 2006 and was able to target that generation again later in life. As a 25-year-old female and someone who is classified in the Disney Channel target market, she deserves credit for really looking into herself to pull out material that an older generation can relate too without feeling like she was still stuck in her old character.

There are a few songs on the album that highlight her tone and creative thinking very well. “Love Me and Let Me Go” starts with a light air beat that utilizes a chime effect. Her vocal range is lower than most pop stars, which pairs with the techno melody very nicely. The beat becomes a little heavier and more techno in the chorus, but her vocal power goes up as well. The message is for someone to love her and let her go and move on, which is more of an adult concept compared to High School Musical.

The title track of Symptoms is all about falling in love with someone. The placement of this song as the lead-off track is perfect, especially in terms of telling her story through her tracklist. This being a song about falling in love with someone is followed by a song about reflecting and then followed by “Love Me and Let Me Go.” This shows how an artist can progress not just with their music but also with their overall storytelling capability.

Tisdale has proven to her beloved longtime followers that a comeback is possible and better yet, a come back where you can clearly see the artist has grown. This album has a very similar sound, but each song’s story and the flow into the story of the whole album is what really makes this album special. 

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Hi there! My name is Alexandra and i would like to start off by describing myself. I am independent, hardworking, ethical and a problem solver. I attended the University of New Haven in Connecticut and since I graduated in 2016 I have moved all over the country. I love music, sports, baking and just hanging out with friends.

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