Ashley Tisdale’s Hot Mess Confuses Me To No End

Sep 19th, 2007 // 21 Comments


Today’s episode of TRL featured the MTV premiere of the above video, which is apparently High School Musical alumna Ashley Tisdale’s attempt to break into the “grown-ups” market without having to subsequently send out apologies to her current fans. The video itself, while being visually boring, was actually pretty riveting TV, but for all the wrong reasons.

I know that lately I’ve been coming across a lot of articles on “why music sounds bad now,” but this song pretty much encapsulates in four minutes just how awful pop music can sound these days. I got this same feeling when listening to Sam’s Town a year ago, but please tell me if, when you listen to “He Said, She Said”–whether on the TV or in YouTube’d form-its sloppily cut-and-pasted together elements (Tisdale rapping, the demo track from a souped-up Casio keyboard of recent vintage, a cathedral-organ effect that sounds straight out of a bad Dracula movie) don’t result in a sensation that feels not unlike your ears being filled with a piping-hot dish of spaghetti Bolognese that had been topped with shaved chocolate, a mango lassi, and some of CJ’s broccolini from last week’s Top Chef right before it was aurally served to you. The old saying when it comes to music has been “if it’s too loud, you’re too old,” but more songs like this (and the latest offering from that other Ashlee) and I think we might need to change the operative word in that statement from “loud” to “incoherent.”

Ashley Tisdale – He Said, She Said (Official Music Video) [YouTube]

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  1. twofivefour

    That song has been doing heavy rotation on commercial radio for months, but I never knew who was singing it – mostly because I couldn’t really care, but also because the majority of new young pop starlets sound so very similar.
    At this rate, there may come a day when I mistake a NOW release for an actual album.

  2. Fraid

    Just to clarify, are you talking about the production value or the song itself?

    To me, weird thing about this is: does Ashley Tisdale know she’s white?

  3. the rich girls are weeping

    I’m so full of insulting things to say about this track, I don’t know where to start. It’s sad when my first thought is, “low-rent Ashlee Simpson.”

    I will say, however — that organ bit is actually a sample, or something, but I can’t place it.

  4. the rich girls are weeping

    @Fraid: White girls: banned for life from performing “rhythmic r’n'b” tracks. Srsly.

  5. katie_a_princess

    i remember when kinky hair was really popular in middles school. man, i really hated middle school.

  6. Diglett

    jeebus, that’s not even singing, is it? Sounds more like cheering. Go Mustangs!

  7. The Mozfather

    It’s so crazy! It’s post-Girl Talk pop. It’s like five ringtones glued together to make one song.

  8. Anonymous

    I’d need to see a side by side comparison, but I think there’s been a nose job somewhere along the line here.

  9. Rob Murphy

    @The Mozfather: LOL!!!1!11!

    I actually really like Ashley Tisdale — not for her singing, but for her comedic acting ability [IMHO, she's brilliant in The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody on the Disney Channel]. So I wanted to sorta like this. But oh my! What a mess that was. Sorta reminded me of, I dunno, what Lindsay Lohan covering “Milkshake” might look and sound like? And the girl apparently can’t dance, or if she can [haven't seen HSM or HSM2], she didn’t prove it here.

    And she sure showed “a lot” of skin, and was “a lot” “sexier” than her Disney image. Wow, first Vanessa Hudgens and her pix and now this. It’s almost like they’re collectively saying HSM3 DO NOT WANT!!!1!!1!!

  10. King of Pants

    I’m — no. Just no. Just no.

  11. Kate Richardson

    @therichgirlsareweeping: I know what you mean about the organ sample. What is that FROM?

  12. blobby

    “Tisdale rapping”

    Dear God. Just the sound of that phrase makes my skin crawl. It’s times like these that make me glad my computer won’t play sound for online videos.

  13. Fraid

    I would compare this song pretty closely to Brooke Hogan’s song with Paul Wall. They both more or less run every maneuver in the Timbaland playbook (handclappy spare drums, fake middle eastern keyboard riffs, and little minor key arpeggios bouncing off each other) but fail to make it to the end zone. It’s kinda what happens when you’re a talented musician/producer but you have no ideas at the moment (other than the idea of making a song for Ashley Tisdale).

    I would guess that the organ riff isn’t a sample just because if you’re gonna go to the trouble of clearing something it usually has to be justifiably significant to the song. But yeah it is super familiar. Kinda reminds me of a similar run over the second verse of NIN’s “Closer.”

  14. Hyman Decent

    “I’M IN THE VIP BOOTH”? In a few years she’ll be in the VIP Room, giving lap dances.

    Wayman Tisdale > Ashley Tisdale

  15. Tauwan

    -Sigh-

    God I miss 3LW.

  16. twinnstar

    i see the timbaland comparisons, but i felt she was going for a “tween” version of solo-gwen stefani. the way she sings “he said she said” is very reminicent of the way my former idol currently butchers alot of her “songs”.

    but i agree with the above comment that ashley has great comedic timing, unfortunatly that has no bearing on a song :)

  17. the rich girls are weeping

    @kaate: I swear, it’s from one of those trite Bach organ thingys. For reals! Maybe Toccata and Fugue in D minor — not the beginning riff, but further in? Or something made to sound very much like it?

  18. spinachdip

    @therichgirlsareweeping: Don’t you see how she’s taking, or rather, takin’ the “g” off the end of “-ing” words? That means she’s street! Holler!

  19. Maura Johnston

    @fraid: Both I guess? It’s a hodgepodge and it sounds like crap. And co-sign on your Brooke Hogan comparison.

  20. Chris Molanphy

    Fraid took the words out of my mouth Re; Timbaland. It’s worth exploring why a song like this so badly botches it, when, say “Promiscuous” (whose video this Tisdale thing closely resembles), working from a similar sonic playbook, succeeds.

    It’s as if modern pop producers have picked up from Timba and Danja the throw-it-all-in-there, weird-soundbite aesthetic without remotely understanding what expert editors they are – isolating the best sound, the catchiest riff, until found sounds become inherently melodic through their clever repetition.

    As long as I’m mentioning Danja, his latest production, a certain Britney song we’ve all been obsessing over, does so much more with not much more talent in the lead performer than Tisdale possesses. What I mean is, “Sharpay” here might not have much going for her in the vocal dept., but that hasn’t stopped the occasional Spears single from being well-wrought.

  21. Adam Bernard

    And somewhere Kiley Dean wonders “how did the Tim thing not work for me?”

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