Review Summary: Craving to be wild... zzz
For what was supposed to be Tisdale’s “good girl gone bad” album, ‘Guilty Pleasure’ is far too tame for its own good. Flailing in the shadow of the her far superior debut, Ashley Tisdale and company present us with a collection of pop-rock songs ranging in quality from lifeless and messy to average at best, held up by an edgy canvas of dark-pink and black.
The R&B style from ‘Headstrong’ is purposely replaced by a painfully generic wall of electric guitar and drums played in the most teen pop-rock way possible. This new sound put alongside the lazy and messy production/writing can bring the album to a slow stop at times. Outside of the second track’s anthem ‘It’s Alright, It’s OK’, most every song is void of energy, with some of the “upbeat” songs struggling to pass as exciting. Even the dance party single ‘Crank It Up’ has very low energy and unfortunately comes close to sounding like a ‘Lady Gaga’ radio hit. The production and writing on ‘Crank It Up’ is very soulless and commercial, and just doesn’t fit in well in any way with the other songs, which is probably why it was included after the tracklisting as a bonus track.
‘Masquerade’ and ‘Hot Mess’ and about the only highlights on the album. The “you wake up in your bra and your makeup” chorus from ‘Hot Mess’ are remnants of the bat*** crazy fun lyrics from Tisdale’s previous effort, and the instrumental here, although fully embracing her new “rock” style, is still acceptable enough. ‘Masquerade’ should have been a dark pop-rock classic if it weren’t for the so-so production. I want to really hear those snaps, I wanna hear Tisdale’s voice layered above those droning electric chords.
‘How Do You Love Someone’ is notable for how melodramatically pathetic the lyrics are. Tisdale “walks alone and broken” because “daddy never held mommy’s hand”. Her desperate and sorrowful voice rising and falling with an overly dramatic instrumental is not something cute or worth experiencing. An offender of pushing this teen pop album over the depression limit.
‘Erase and Rewind’ and ‘Tell Me Lies’ are solid fillers, both starting better than they progressive with average choruses. They’re good examples of how much this album loves the use of very standard guitar playing and familiar dance beats you would hear just about anywhere you went at the time.
I wouldn’t really recommend bothering with anything outside of the moderately enjoyable ‘Hot Mess’ and ‘Masquerade’ and possibly ‘Hair’ is you feelin’ weird.