‘One Eighty’ Ashley Kutcher new EP Review by EJ Scanlan
Ashley Kutcher. A pop star in the making. Accumulating over one million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, and 30 million streams of her single, “Love You From A Distance”, she’s already becoming a star in her own right.
I’m a massive fan of up and coming musicians, I love seeing them grow from strength to strength as their career progresses. I’m such a big fan of new music that I set up the Prospect Music Award, a competition to help expose new artists (details on this year’s comp coming very soon for anyone interested!), and because of this, I’ve seen acts who should have succeeded fail, artists who really shouldn’t thrive and artists who are incredibly talented go on to take over the world, so I know what it takes to be big in this industry. I’ll be reviewing Kutcher’s debut EP, “One Eighty” like how I’d review any ordinary EP, but also bearing in mind those thoughts as we go through this eight-track debut.
The opening track, “Strangers” is a cute pop track, its produced impeccably well as Kutcher channels artists like Alessia Cara in her vocal style. It’s written really well, and from this, I can see already why she’s so popular so early in her career. “The Night You Left” continues that beautiful production on this gorgeous pop ballad. It’s a lovely track that shows off Kutcher’s vocals very well, however, I believe that the track borders on cheesy in places, as in some 16-year-old performing a ballad on The X Factor with smoke and pyro cheesy. It’s refreshing to hear something like this done again in a modern setting but isn’t my style of music at all.
“Love You From A Distance”, Kutcher’s biggest song is up next, and although I enjoyed the song, I personally don’t see why this has become as big and successful as it has. A nice acoustic pop ballad, the song is like every other acoustic pop song that’s out there, unfortunately. It’s a lovely song, don’t get me wrong, Kutcher’s vocals really shine here, but for a song with 30 million+ streams, I wanted a little more than this. However, “If I Could”, despite it sounding similar to the preceding track, has a more of a unique energy to it, but isn’t memorable to me. Its predictable lyrics and production put this at a disadvantage. I want this song to give me something else, something that isn’t the same old. I want something that pushes the conventions of what a traditional acoustic pop song is, and “If I Could” isn’t that.
Listen to ‘One Eighty’ HERE
Moving onto “When You’re Not Okay”, this has the strongest start to the EP so far with the first having a lot of potential to become a great track, and the rest of the track has that potential all the way through, but it never lifts off the ground. It’s like a firework that goes up in the air but fails to explode, and I’ve not been this disappointed in a long while. Ashley has shown through this track that she has what it takes to do something special, but she needs to utilise that way more and can create tracks that can ensure that she can shine as bright as I think she can do. “Favourite What If” is next and there’s a slight improvement here, as her lyrics are beautiful here, the strongest on this EP so far, but with the vocals and production, once again, it fails to live up to the potential, which is really disappointing.
“fake bitches” is EXACTLY what has been missing from this EP, as this track is majestic. Kutcher’s vocals are the strongest so far, the production lives up to what this girl can do, and this is a song that I can only imagine Ashley making. THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN AFTER THIS ENTIRE EP! Finally, we have an acoustic song called “Care Enough For Two”, and once again, it’s fantastic. Kutcher and a guitar is an incredibly refreshing sound and it shows me that Kutcher has got something and has something that can make her stand out in this incredibly competitive industry. If I’m being overly picky, I’d say that I’d want it just her vocals and her guitar, no fancy effects or anything else, that hindered the song for me.
Overall, “One Eighty” is your bog-standard pop EP that sounds like a lot of everything else that’s out there. But Ashley Kutcher is an act to be remembered. There are some teething problems, but this is only her debut EP and so there’s time for her to realise what went wrong here and utilise her strengths and potential way more. Although the EP isn’t what I hoped it would be, I will be keeping my eye out for Ashley Kutcher in the future, and I think you should too… Ashley, if for some reason you come across this, believe in yourself and what you do! Utilise what you have and that’s your next step to becoming a bigger and better artist. Keep doing what you’re doing and I wish you all the luck in the world.
“Care Enough For Two”
“Love You From A Distance”