Simpson’s sophomore album slump
The new Ashlee Simpson album, “I Am Me,” is like dej√É† vu. Flashback to July 2004; “Autobiography” is released and “Pieces of Me” is all over the radio. The pop-rock younger sister of Jessica Simpson is angry and she is going to tell the world. Look ahead to October 2005; she’s still angry and now “Boyfriend” is all over the radio. The sound is the same; the album titles are practically identical and the meaning is all the same. The differences between the two CDs are their release dates and Simpson’s hair color on the album art.
“I won’t change for anyone,” is the chorus of the song “I Am Me” and it is the diatribe of the album. Perhaps this is why “Autobiography” and “I Am Me” are so alike. It appears that Simpson just wants the world to accept her, but instead of being polite about it she shoves it in listeners’ faces.
The album begins with “Boyfriend.” Not only are the lyrics childish and make her sound like a whiney teenager, but it is hard to understand what she is even saying. It took an internet search of the song to figure out that she was singing, “I didn’t steal your boyfriend.”
As for “L.O.V.E.” why is Simpson giving us a spelling lesson? The song is actually not about love; it is about girls sticking together. It is about being united through heartbreak and love.
The song “Burnin Up” sounds like Simpson stole a track off of Britney Spears’ “In the Zone” CD. It is a cookie-cutter image of “Showdown.” As if all of Simpson’s songs did not sound the same to begin, with now she is copying other pop artists too.
There are two saving graces on the 11 track CD: “In Another Life” and “Say Goodbye.” These are only two songs where it does not feel like Simpson is about to lacerate her vocal chords again. They are also two of the ballads on the CD, although that is a relative term for Simpson.
“In Another Life” talks about love in an innocent way. “And I know that look in your eyes/ It’s like I’ve seen you before about a million times/ In another life, in another life maybe, in another life you must’ve been mine.” The song just speaks to the listener about a feeling that is universal to girls: that she has known someone her whole life and yet she has just met him.
On the other end of the spectrum is the last song on the album, “Say Goodbye.” This track is about breaking up. “So I scream, scream cause it hurts/ Your every word cuts me inside and leaves me worse/ There’s no way back/ And what if there was/ You’d still be you and/ I’d still need to say goodbye.” Another universal feeling: heartbreak. Wanting someone that is unobtainable for whatever reason is exactly what Simpson sings about. This is the best song on the CD; it is a shame that listeners have to listen to 10 other tracks to reach this song.
Overall, “I Am Me” is mediocre. It is doing well and her singles are moving up the charts because it is Ashlee Simpson. There are people out there who love her just because she is her. There are people who actually can stand her voice. Then there are the people who love her just because she’s not Jessica.
Without this fan base, however, Simpson would be nowhere because this CD has no validity in the music world. It is not something anyone should waste their money on.