[14 March 2012]
Sometimes, all we ask of our pop chanteuses is a bit of competence—a pretty voice, a clear melody, some decent production. In all of these ways, Jasmine Ash delivers the goods. The opening burble of lead track “Cut Up” segues nicely into an uptempo, Alanis Morissette-ish almost rocker, not too far removed from “You Oughta Know” in every regard apart from, y’know, rage. Subsequent tunes channel everything from Tori Amos warblings to ‘80s synthpop to The Innocence Mission to Motown-era Jackson 5, with the standout track probably being the take-no-prisoners dancefloor stomp of “Move On.” Ash’s little-girl voice isn’t particularly powerful, but she can carry a tune, while the production (by Jacques Brautbar and Sam Farrar) is slick and lively. Depending on the listener, a record like this is either derivative and dull, or else a clever synthesis of myriad influences. Myself, I’m leaning toward derivative. It’s pretty enough, sure, but it all sounds eerily familiar.