11 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The virtues of Ashley Arrison’s debut album, Hearts on Parade, are understated: introspective lyrics, bittersweet melodies, and smooth yet sparse production. The Memphis-born singer/songwriter avoids bombast and histrionics in favor of thoughtful, somewhat melancholy confessions set to acoustic-centered arrangements that build to softly insistent hooks. Arrison’s yearning alto vocals—honed as a backup singer with the likes of Radney Foster and Lindsay Lohan—bring Susanna Hoffs and Sarah McLachlan to mind. Her songs dissect troubled romances with a knowing hand, whether the musical setting is upbeat (the title track) or brooding (“Caged Bird”). Arrison's more than a one-mood artist, though, as sassy tracks like “Little Miss Plastic” and hopeful tunes like “Walk Me Home” and “My Favorite Thing” reveal. “Trying to Help You Out”—featuring cowriter Kelly Clarkson on background vocals—is radio-friendly without sounding calculated. Arrison’s vulnerable yet self-reliant attitude colors the whole project, giving it the feel of a personal statement.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The virtues of Ashley Arrison’s debut album, Hearts on Parade, are understated: introspective lyrics, bittersweet melodies, and smooth yet sparse production. The Memphis-born singer/songwriter avoids bombast and histrionics in favor of thoughtful, somewhat melancholy confessions set to acoustic-centered arrangements that build to softly insistent hooks. Arrison’s yearning alto vocals—honed as a backup singer with the likes of Radney Foster and Lindsay Lohan—bring Susanna Hoffs and Sarah McLachlan to mind. Her songs dissect troubled romances with a knowing hand, whether the musical setting is upbeat (the title track) or brooding (“Caged Bird”). Arrison's more than a one-mood artist, though, as sassy tracks like “Little Miss Plastic” and hopeful tunes like “Walk Me Home” and “My Favorite Thing” reveal. “Trying to Help You Out”—featuring cowriter Kelly Clarkson on background vocals—is radio-friendly without sounding calculated. Arrison’s vulnerable yet self-reliant attitude colors the whole project, giving it the feel of a personal statement.

TITLE TIME

More By Ashley Arrison

You May Also Like