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In This Skin (S.E.)
our score: 2.0 out of 5.0
and Unimaginative - Just Like Jessica Herself |
by: dave davies
I get going on this review, I need to lay down a bit of groundwork.
i.e. Jessica Simpson really seems to be as much of a dumb blonde
as any sterotype has even inferred. Viewers of her and her husband
(Nick Lachey)'s reality show must be watching it for
laughs - because if anyone watches it another reason they must
have a screw loose.
whether or not this "dumb blonde" image I now have in
my mind of Jessica Simpson (before this, I just didn't really
care about her one way or another) has anything to do with my
poor reception to this album, I couldn't tell you. What I can
tell you, however, is that overall In This Skin is a
pretty shoddy piece of work.
re-released as a "Special Edition" with two bonus tracks
and an oh-so-worth-it (can you sense the sarcasm) bonus
DVD with footage of Jessica and Nick's wedding and scenes from
the first season of their Newlyweds MTV show, it's fairly
obvious that this was an album put together with one goal: to
ride the 15 minutes of fame Ms. Simpson is experiencing from unknowingly
making a complete fool of herself for the world's pleasure.
I digress, and should really focus on the album. Then
again, I really don't want to talk about it, but even
more so, I really don't want to keep listening to it
to continue gathering my thoughts. So let's go... the album's
opener (on this Special Edition) is a cover of Robbie Williams'
classic ballad "Angels." One does have to give Kudos
to Simpson for choosing to cover one of the best ballads from
one of the best artists of her generation, but still it ends up
as a bit of a disappointment. Nothing is really new or exciting
here, sans the fact that she changed all instances of "she"
to "he" and has some rather poor backup singing from
producer/vocalist, billymann. What's more, the song's initial
success for Williams was as much his performance as it was simply
the fact that this rather manly, sarcastic man wrote and sang
such a heartfelt piece. Coming from Simpson it sounds a bit more
like adult contemporary filler. But what's even more unfortunate
is that it's pretty much the album's high point.
the single "With You" (the opener on the original pressing
of this album, second track here) is a fairly decent, albeit clumsy
and cliche' love song in today's standard pop/dance style. Written
in part by Simpson herself, it's supposedly a song for her hubby
Nick, and it does sound rather sweet in places. Totally disposable,
but still sweet.
for other "high" points... well there's a good rule
to follow: pretty much anything that lists Jessica Simpson as
a co-writer ("With You" aside) is fairly droll and disengaging.
Lines like "I'm a lover of a soul / Deep inside this man
that I know / I will give it all and let go" (from "My
Way Home") bore rather than inspire, and sub-par production
values just add extra weight to an already sinking ship.
again, when songs such as "Sweetest Sin" (by super-writer
Diane Warren) and "I Have Loved You" (which sounds oddly
familiar and even more oddly like a forgotten Shania Twain or
Faith Hill crossover piece) do breathe a bit of fresh air into
the album. The problem, however, is that they aren't really all
that great on their own and tend to get by more on their
comparison to the album's other songs than their own special qualities.
by far the most shameful aspect of In This Skin is the
title track itself. A rather shameless ripoff of Christina Aguilera's
hit "Beautiful (well, Linda Perry's "Beautiful"
if you want to be totally truthful), it wouldn't be a bad song...
IF IT WASN'T JUST "BEAUTIFUL" WITH DIFFERENT WORDS!
No one cares about Jessica Simpson's bouts of depression or lack
of self-worth. Or at least I hope not.
are much better things to worry about.. like when are
they finally going to cancel Newlyweds?
liked In This Skin...
2. With You
3. Take My Breath Away
4. My Way Home
5. Sweetest Sin
6. I Have Loved You
7. Forbidden Fruit
8. Everyday See You
10. You Don't Have To Let Go
11. Loving You
12. In This Skin
14. With You (Acoustic Version)
Disc 2 (DVD)
1. Jessica and Nick's Wedding
2. Newlyweds: Scenes from the First Season