Jillian Shea’s ‘Barely Changed’ is a near-perfect teen pop anthem
Back not TOO long ago when I turned 16, my most important achievements were finally getting my own bedroom after sharing one with my brother for years, and getting my very own stereo system that could play two tapes, four! CDs and could tune into local radio stations. I didn’t have the capability to understand that I could maybe write, sing, or act, even though later in life I discovered that I could do them well enough.
I bring this up because putting into context what being 16 was like for me immediately after listening to Jillian Shea Spaeder’s latest single “Barely Changed,” made me recognize that much more of how outstanding this track is.
Had I only heard the music alone, I would’ve been impressed by its tone, the catchy hook and pop sensibilities that sound like it belongs alongside Ariana Grande or Dua Lipa. But, the fact that Spaeder’s only beginning her professional music career makes me excited to see where she goes from here. If this is the baseline for where she’s starting, she’s got a whole lifetime to grow both musically and personally in ways that others can only aspire to become.
The track itself is well produced, has musical textures that complement her voice nicely and it lets the hook do the hard work of capturing the listener’s attention.
As if writing and recording an impressive track weren’t impressive enough, Spaeder’s also an actress — she’s most notably known for her role as Bailey in the Disney Channel comedy “Walk the Prank,” and she’s also appeared as a guest star on Nickelodeon’s “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn,” as well as several segments of OMG for the DreamWorksTV channel on YouTube.
A cynic might say that there’s no guarantee that she’ll be able to keep this success up and that for every Miley Cyrus there’s countless numbers of other teen stars who have flamed out before their 19th birthday. However while that might be true, you can say that about anyone regardless of their age, career or particular talent.
It’s also worth remembering that success is never defined by other people’s expectations, or by how much wealth and fame you receive. Success is how you perceive your own accomplishments, how you’ve reached your own goals, and how you feel about the life you’ve lived up to this point.
Back to the single, though — it’s a strong entry that should make Ms. Spaeder proud. The lyrics have substance, the beat makes you want to hit the dance floor and her powerful voice shines through it all, taking the lead the way it should in a great pop track.
Ms Spaeder’s personality comes through here both on this track, and the previous single “Story,” which came out last July. I can’t wait to see what comes next for her, and I will not be surprised to see her become a gigantic superstar either in the musical realm, the acting realm, or both.