Monday, February 27, 2006

The Better Simpson

She might already have her second album out but this is one of the review I just dug out from my archive. Enjoy reading.

Ashlee Simpson

Introduction:

Mention Ashlee Simpson and you might be unfamiliar with her. Well, she is the younger sister of the platinum recording artist Jessica Simpson. Yup, the girl from MTV’s reality show Newlyweds. Well, Ashlee Simpson has follow the footsteps of her sister and started a reality show of her own produced by her father for MTV called the Ashlee Simpson Show. Well, I am unsure whether it is being aired here but it is in the US. However, Ashlee has had a successful acting career in some US TV series before deciding to go into music.

Her album debut at No 1 in 2004 on the billboard charts, thanks to her successful reality TV series along with getting massive airplay of her video on MTV. This shows how influential MTV is. Well, MTV can’t be given credit for all her success, besides having great looks, she has talent and a great debut single and not to mention a great album to follow.

The great thing about this album is that you may follow the making of it if you follow the series. It shows the work that goes into starting a career in music from the vocal training to getting a recording contract and the promotions and photo shoots involved.

One may assume that Ashlee Simpson has the same exact image with her sister, well, this is different. She has her own style and qualities. To be honest, I prefer her than Jessica but Jessica is better looking though. Well, Ashlee portrays a stronger character and tries very hard to not to be compared to her sister. The difference can be seen in her songs and the genre she has chosen. Her songs are more rock than pop in comparison with her sister.

The Album:

Autobiography was chosen as the title of her debut album because according to Ashlee it is an autobiography of her life. This has some significance because she co-wrote most of the songs in the album and has given it a little bit of personal touch into it by inserting her life experiences into it.

The album cover features a picture of Ashlee with a blue and greenish background which I believe is a blackboard with some scribble of chalk writings on it. If you watch the series, you may see the photo shoot session and the time she chooses the picture for her album cover. The thing I like best about the cover is the eyes of Ashlee which are so blue.

The album has 14 tracks and a total running time of 52 minutes and released by Polydor on August 30 2004.

Track List and Track By Track Review:

1. Autobiography
This is a great starter track for the album. This song is talking about her ex claiming that he does not know her like he think he does and tells him that she has prepared to move on as she won’t be single for long. It has a strong beat and Ashlee is practically raising her voice throughout the song. It rates 4 out of 5.

2. Pieces Of Me
This is what I call the Ashlee Anthem. If you do not know who Ashlee is, this song should remind you who she is. It is her debut single and was quite popular at the time of release. It has a great video accompanying it too. It rates a 5 out of 5 for bringing Ashlee into the scene and showcasing her amazing vocal talents.

3. Shadow
This is Ashlee’s second single in the US and a more personal track. It talks about her family splitting up at a young age and she was always over shadowed by her sister’s success. It has an amazing video as well with Ashlee dressing up as two persons living two separate lives. One of the highlights of the video is the scene when Ashlee smashes the mirror with her fist. This song rates a 4 out of 5 for not being as good as the debut single.

4. La La
This is officially her third single in the US and second release in the UK. It starts with heavy electronic drum sound and continues with a nice beat and you can easily sing or hum to it. It makes you want to get up and jump. This is totally unlike any other Ashlee tracks and is my personal favorite. Ashlee is screaming throughout the song. It has a cool video too of teenagers hanging around and doing stuff. It rates a well deserving 5 out of 5.

5. Love Makes The World Go Round
Finally, a much softer song after the previous hard tempo tracks. It takes a slow start but resumes to heavy background music like other Ashlee tracks. It talks about love and how we learn from it. It rates a 3 out of 5.

6. Better Off
This track starts of with a guitar solo and follows with vocal from Ashlee. It has a strong chorus. She talks about her relationship and how she is improving herself everyday. It rates 4 out of 5.

7. Love Me for Me
This is an average track that unfortunately does not showcase much vocal talents and is practically just raising voices. It rates 3 out of 5.

8. Surrender
A very electronically influence track. It is becoming a generic song from Ashlee with similar beats but it has a nice chorus. It rates a 2 out of 5.

9. Unreachable
This is a song that maintains a similar tone throughout the song without excessive loud chorus. It is not one of the best track though. It rates 2 out of 5.

10. Nothing New
This song has certain parts that remind me of Alisha’s Attic if you remember them but with much trademark of Ashlee Simpson interesting vocal. It seems that she should have added more types of different tracks that will showcase different vocal capability that I am sure Ashlee has. It rates a disappointing 1 out of 5.

11. Giving It All Away
Funny thing that this track sounds like Avril Lavigne. Maybe it was written for her in mind but was given to Ashlee instead? Who knows. It is finally about time Ashlee record something different in the album. I was almost getting bored of the similar generic music Ashlee was producing. This song is much low tempo than the rest. You can hear more of her voice than both having the same level of volume. It rates 3 out of 5 for being different than the rest tracks.


12. Undiscovered
This track is similar to the previous track with much low tempo than the rest. It finally showcases more of her voice but unfortunately it is not her best track. It might have been a perfect track to close the album as it is the last track in the original US release. It rates a 1 out of 5.

13. Harder Everyday (bonus track)
Another value-added song that has a good chorus. It is not included in the original US release. It is a nice track and rates 4 out of 5.

14. Sorry (UK bonus track)
A UK bonus track that is seriously not in the US released album and a cool track to close the album with. It rates an average 3 out of 5.

Conclusions:

Ashlee definitely has a bright future ahead of her in the entertainment world. Although the music world is overcrowded with rising teenage stars, she has her own image that is different from others and the best of it, she have received much praise from the critics. They assume that Ashlee will be a generic product from the Simpson family copying exactly what sister Jessica has done but it turns out otherwise. Well, the album is a definitely must have if you have followed the TV series or a big fan of pop/rock music by teenage stars. It is well worth your money with great arrangement of songs that do carry a meaning unlike most pop tracks that just have good beats. If you are not into the pop music scene, give this a miss.

Further Information:

You may wish to visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002QCBR2/qid=1104951462/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/202-6677267-2908646 for further details on this album.

Similar Artists:

If you like the sounds of Ashlee Simpsons, you should listen to Avril Lavigne, Hillary Duff, Jojo, Mandy Moore or Lindsay Lohan.

The Price?

The CD should cost about ₤9.99.

Where To Buy?

Well, the CD should be available in most music stores like Virgin Megastores and HMV. Enjoy additional 10% discount from stores if you have a student card. HMV gives 10% off all items including sales items with a valid NUS card. Virgin Megastores requires you to show a Virgin Student card that may be obtained free of charge from any Virgin Megastore by showing a valid student identity.


You can enjoy massive savings by buying it online too on Amazon or ebay. Some sites that may have the CDs are as follow:

1. Amazon.co.uk
2. Ebay.co.uk
3. VirginMega.co.uk
4. HMV.co.uk

I got mine from winning a competition. So, I can’t tell you the exact price or location I got it.

I hope this helps. I look forward in hearing constructive feedback on my reviews or any questions. Feel free to leave them on my guestbook or comments and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have A Nice Day!

XXX bennyong

No comments: