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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ashley Ballard: Get In The Booth (Advance Release CD) (Atlantic, 2001)

Yet more unreleased Rodney Jerkins with teen-pop singer Ashley Ballard who was signed to Atlantic Records in 2001. She was one of a handful of teen-pop singers (the other notable one being Mikalia) who were marketed as a slightly less bubblegum form of Britney Spears. While Spears and even Aguilera were churning out the same repetitive Disney channel slop in the early 2000s, a small number of others went down a slightly different route; some adopted a slightly rockier tone while others such as Ballard tried to appeal
more to R&B fans. She released one single Hottie (which enjoyed moderate success) and then for unknown reasons her album was shelved by the label and nothing has been heard from her since. There are a few pop stinkers but mostly with Rodney Jerkins behind her, it didn't turn out half bad really. There are no production credits listed on the digipak but going by sound alone Jerkins produced quite a few songs here not limited to All I Ever, No Matter What, Why and It Was You (featuring background vocals by his short-lived R&B group So Plush.) Major turn-offs include the overly poppy Hi Low and the nauseating 5X5, which was produced by the same team behind many horrendous UK pop acts in the late 90s/early 2000s. All in all it had all the potential to be a hit but as with the many Destiny's Child-like groups, there were just too many teen-pop singers fighting for attention in the early 2000s. However, it would've been interesting to see how she would've evolved, had she been given half the chance...

Hypnotized 3:17
Hottie 3:48
All I Ever 3:57
Forever 4:19
Hi Low 3:58
Girls Like Me 3:39
No Matter What 3:51
Second Thoughts 4:32
5 x 5 3:46
Love Is Real 3:46
Why? 3:49
It Was You 4:35
No More Miss Nice 3:42
I'll Be Waiting 4:29