ALBUM REVIEW: Ashley Tisdale – Symptoms

Releasing music after having a nine year hiatus is a massive risk. Like, will fans still care? Will listeners still connect? And will people accept the maturity and growth you’ve gone through within that time? It’s a lot of thoughts that would’ve run through Ashley Tisdale’s mind when she was recording her third studio album, but it was a risk worth taking. ‘Symptoms’ is an impressive comeback for the singer/songwriter/actress and entrepreneur who has had a long standing career since her early Disney days. This is truly her strongest body of work to date and hears her in a brand new light. Embracing her vulnerabilities and opening up about her mental health and anxiety struggles, she is as candid as she could be on this nine track collection. Opening with the title track ‘Symptoms’ she immediately sets the tone of the record with a tropical indie-pop production layered with light harmonies and open lyrics. She confesses her struggles with believing that she is worthy of someone because of the hurt she’s been through in the past which causes her to run. “I’m allergic to commitment, got some kind of sickness. Every time I’m ’round you, I start feeling really anxious. Nothing that could fix it, wish that I could kick this”. Seamlessly flowing into ‘Looking Glass’ she gets a little more experimental with the production as she questions her self perception and spiralling of thoughts. “You don’t see what I see when I look in the mirror. You might think you know me but you have no idea”. This leads into the fully developed EDM production styling ‘Love Me & Let Me Go’ which has already become a fan favourite but the song that immediately stands out as a potential future single is the captivating ‘Vibrations’. This song is everything you want and more from Tisdale. It’s playful, catchy and experimental with a production that is so slick and will have you wanting to press replay over and over again. It talks about her maturity as a young adult who has fallen in love, got married and is genuinely happy with the simple things in life. ‘True Romance’ continues this concept by embracing the idea that relationships aren’t always perfect and attempts to normalise that fact. Because we are raised with this fairytale idea of “happy ever after” which is honestly unreachable. Keeping the experimental vibes rolling, ‘Under Pressure’, ‘Insomnia’ and ‘Voices In My Head’ showcases the artistic growth she’s gone through with a strong indie-pop meets electronic revamp. Closing the album with ‘Feeling So Good’ she lets listeners know where she’s at now with her state of mind, which is a place of happiness and understanding. “Haven’t felt like this for a while now. Think I finally got this figured out. Cause I’m feeling so good”. It’s just a feel good pop song that really does perfectly tie together the whole self discovery concept. It also helps that it’s a bonafide bop and a half. However with the album abruptly finishing, you find yourself really wanting more. After a nine year wait, only nine songs seems a little short. But hopefully this release will encourage her to release more music frequently, because this is truly an impressive record full of strength, reflection and growth.