Aston: Aston (EP)
Posted November 10, 2016 by J Matthew Cobb in Pop
Aspiring Texas pop singer courts Britney vibes on new EP
It’s pretty easy to detect Aston‘s musical influences. On the Texas singer’s self-titled debut EP, she dances around in a puddle of Britney Spears’ synthpop, even mirroring some of her obvious nasal qualities. Producing Britney art shouldn’t be the typical achievement for rising pop stars, unless they want the instant notoriety and comparable linkage. Nevertheless, it’s an agenda Aston sets on the five-song set. With David Huff ( David & the Giants) by her side, she opens things up with bubblegum dance-pop in the 21st century Madonna style on “Circles,” even sliding a sly tribute tribute to Dead or Alive (“Spin me round round…right round in circles”). “Pulse” feels like leftovers of Britney’s “Til the World Ends,” while “Need You ASAP” — boasting cute lyrics and Britney’s “a-a-a” stutters on the chorus — is a bit more organic than “Pulse.” The EP’s brightest moment comes as a surprise; it’s a ballad. On the urban-spliced “Miss Me,” the ear-grabbing melodies are successful in their pursuit while Aston’s breathy vibes feel just right for the storyline beats. It sounds like it has that Mary J. Blige “Be Without You” effect, but pulled in a more pop direction. The toughest criticism aboard Aston isn’t the songs at all, it’s the vanilla production. And there are times when she sounds like she’s coasting along what’s familiar and too afraid to discover her own well of originality. Hopefully she’ll be able to show us more personality and creativity when the full-length LP drops.