Luck, is it real or a figment of the imagination? It can change within a second, it can make you rich, make you poor or make you the laughing stock of generation X. Unfortunately for Miss Ashlee Simpson her luck turned her into the latter (Granted she got rich as well) After Simpson’s highly publicized lip sync mishap on SNL she could almost never be taken seriously anymore. Booed off the stage at football games and the punch-line in many jokes, Ashlee will have to work hard to shake her title as one of the most famous Lip-Snycers and if she keeps releasing albums like 2005’s sophomore album “I Am Me” the only she’s going to shake off is her fans. While her debut Autobiography
isn’t the next “Revolver” (far from it) it contains some good songs.
Like the most popular trend of today Ashlee’s singing is backed by a real band that play a mix of Rock, Punk and Pop. Today it seems no girl wants to play with just a DJ behind her, Lindsey Lohan, Kelly Clarkson, Hillary Duff et al have all adapted the style. Unlike some of her contemporaries Ashlee writes (or does she?) some good tunes. Teeny Bopper anthems like “Pieces of Me” and “Shadow” hold stock in most of the album but the occasional semi-punk song like the single, “LaLa” and “Love Me for Me” make welcome appearances throughout the album.
Ashlee Simpson’s debut album is one of the better pop (in the modern sense of the word) albums I’ve heard in a while. No song goes over 4 minutes (except the last track), they are all easy to sing along to, fun and the majority of them are actually quite good. Of course as all albums do, this CD has its clunkers, “Love Makes the World Go Round” and “Better Off” both feature fairly boring music and bad clichéd lyrics. Neither has much to offer and should have been left off the album IMO. While the middle of the album is fairly terrible the other sections save it.
The first four tracks, all singles set a high standard as far as pop music goes. Her singles are easy to sign along to, fun and actually have halfway decent lyrics. The first track Autobiography
is a good tune that holds the theme song spot in Ashlee’s MTV show. The verses in this song are cool. Comprised of a mellow palm muted guitar riff and Ashlee singing about being single (A topic the reappears on many tracks). The chorus come in and its hard to fight from singing along to. Trust me, you don’t want to be seen singing “Stains on my t-shirt/ I’m the biggest flirt” but you will. Pieces of Me
is that hella catchy, acoustic love song that first introduced Ashlee to the TRL crowd. While I can respect this as a pop song it doesn’t really do anything for me. One huge downside to this album is that Ashlee seems to not know how to write about anything but love. One of the few tracks that isn’t about love is Shadow
, a ballad about how Ashlee’s parents “ran away” from her once Jessica became a star. Don’t feel sorry for me
Ashlee sings out after the chorus. Trust me Ashlee you’ve got a successful career and a sister with a successful career I don’t feel sorry for you. The last single off this album LaLa
isn’t as good as the previous tracks but it’s not bad. Loud guitars and Ashlee screaming about sex loud enough to make her voice crack (Think Karen O except worse) make this a much different style of song then the mellower “Autobiography” and “Pieces of Me”. Of course just cause it’s louder doesn’t mean people are going to like it. Simpson was booed off stage while playing this song at a college football game. After seeing a video of her performing this live, I can see why.
While the first third of the album features some good singles and the second third features some real bad songs the end features the more mature Ashlee Simpson. Unreachable
, a piano driven tune sticks out the most for me. The track doesn’t have lyrics about anything special (just love again) or tremendously different music Unreachable is a catchy, cool ballad that houses some of Ashlee’s best vocals.
All in all Autobiography features some good songs, some meh songs, some bad songs and an atrocious album cover. While it’s not very original or a stroke of genius Ashlee Simpson’s debut is a decent album contrary to popular belief.