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Bittersweet World

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Album Review

Has there ever been another pop star quite as shameless as Ashlee Simpson? Probably so, but nobody has ever quite so cravenly followed fashion's shifting tides as Ashlee, who has never seemed the slightest bit embarrassed to make herself over when styles changed. All this desperate trend-chasing has been done in public, as it damn well should be in the 21st century, so we've seen her change from the spunky younger sister of a superstar to the sad goth clown of her sophomore effort to the Gwen Stefani wannabe of her third album, Bittersweet World. Ashlee might look like a shadow of her former self on the album cover — the years and cosmetic surgery have made her virtually unrecognizable from the awkward teen on the cover of I Am Me — but she still sounds the same, still boasting that same thin, girlish voice that wouldn't have gotten much attention if she weren't Jessica Simpson's younger sister. Of course, the ironic thing about Ashlee's career is that she not only had bigger hits than Jessica, she made better records than her sister, too, all with a virtually nonexistent voice and a personality as aggressively shallow as Avril Lavigne. Like Avril, Ashlee has a distinct arc to her three-act career, bouncing back from a dour and dumb second album with a return to the fizzy fun of her first (unlike Avril, Simpson seems like she would at least wait for you to leave the room before she started saying mean things about you).

Where Avril beat a retreat to the bratty punk-pop that brought her fame, Ashlee has pulled a red hoodie over her head, amped up the dance beats, revved up the '80s retro fetish, and created something that feels of the 2008 moment, as it should coming from the fiancée of Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz. This embrace of MTV hipsterism — never to be confused with underground movements, this includes cameos from a guy from Plain White T's — helps mirror the growth of her initial fans, who have grown from high school through college to immature young adults, needing this absurd new millennial go-go music for their endless parties, and while that arc is as manufactured as anything else surrounding the Simpson empire, there's none of the sad, creepy abandon of Britney Spears that makes Blackout just no fun to listen to, no matter how good it sounds. Bittersweet World is all bright neon colors and bubblegum melodies, full of naggingly insistent hooks and insipid poses, none sillier than Ashlee boasting she's a "Rule Breaker" who loves to fight over a track that sounds like diluted M.I.A. When Bittersweet World is operating at this high-energy level — copping from bad old new wave singles ("Outta My Head [Ay Ya Ya]") and Prince (the delirious "Boys") and Gwen (pretty much everything else, but especially on the feigned social consciousness of the title track, "What I've Become," and the "Hella Good" rewrite "Hot Stuff") — this is addictive pure pop trash that's all the more irresistible because it's delivered by such a purely trashy pop star. When things slow down — as they do on the utterly forgettable closer "Never Dream Alone" and the quite awful "Little Miss Obsessive," where Ashlee explores the endless possibilities of the word "over" in the chorus — it's a bit of a slog, but those moments are fortunately few and far between here because Ashlee is aggressively shallow. She's always been this way, of course, but Bittersweet World is the first time that she has made a record that lives up to her happily empty persona, something that's truly fun junk.

Customer Reviews

Hot Stuff

Ashlee simpson's 3rd album produced mainly by timbaland and Chad Hugo from the neptunes is a fun packed 80's cd. There are plenty of highlights in this album which make it stand out from a gwen stefani album or Fergie album. Outta My head - lead single - catchy - doesnt get out of your head , a change in direction - definate hit - 9/10 Boys - The catchiest summer song - brilliant to dance around to 10/10 Rule Breaker - Crazy lyrics which pokes the fun out of herself "daddy's little princess" - 8/10 No time for tears - Back to her more rocky sound, but still fits in well with the album - killer chorus - 8/10 Little Miss Obsessive - The second single from the album - more rock than 80's - great chorus with killer hook - 10/10 Ragdoll - Timbaland produced song - really cool chorus - maybe not as catchy as others - 7/10 Bittersweet world - Kinda an autobiographical song about how her world is bittersweet , timbaland produced again - 8/10 Hot Stuff - The funniest song in the album - very kooky and cool beats - great to dance around and the lyrics are about the jealousy between girls. - 10/10 Murder - This was the first song that was leaked from the album - it has changed a little for the better - its on the same vain as hot stuff - weird rap in the middle - 9/10 Never dream alone - My personal favourite on the album - its a slow song with amazing lyrics from the heart " underneath the stars fall asleep with my hand on your heart , i wont let it skip a beat - 10/10 other songs are from past albums and releases - all 10/10


first of all i just want to say that i own ashlee's other 2 albums, and that i love them both, but honestly this may be her best yet, here is my review 1) outta my head (ay ya ya) 4/5 - i love this song, and i think it was perfect for the first single, i do not understand how it didn't become a huge hit in america, i think they just can't see past her whole snl experience, even though she has proved she can sing. 2) boys 4.5/5 - this song is so fun and dancy, it has a real summer vibe to it, this would have great single potential 3) rule breaker 4/5 - this is a tongue and cheek song, and i love it, it has fun guitars, slick beats and plenty of attitude 4) no time for tears 5/5 - this is one of my favourites on the album, i love the whole blend of electro/rock, it is very catchy and great to sing along to 5) little miss obessive 5/5 - i adore this song, it shows ashlee's more rock routes, and it fits her vocal range perfectly, tom also provides some extra vocals, which gives the song that something extra 6) ragdoll 4/5 - this song has the whole michael jackson beat it vibe to it, it's a grower, and will have you dancing in no time 7) bittersweet world 5/5 - the album track, and i love it, it has a somewhat sexy vibe to it, but also it is dark and empowering with the message behind it. 8) what i've become 5/5 - here we witness ashlee in a whole new light, her voice is more dark in this song, and i like how it is different to the fun theme of the album, it isn't as fun with the lyrics and music, but i love it 9) hot stuff 5/5 - gotta love this song, it shows ashlee making fun out of a certain type of female, and i love it, it has fun lyrics, fun music, and i can totally picture this as a single 10) murder 5/5 - at first i didn't like this song, but now i love it, it is pushing more towards the rnb side, but it still has that sexy guitar sound ashlee normally has, it will make you think you can "get away with murder" 11) never dream alone 5/5 - this song is perfect, unlike some singers, who tend to show off and over do ballads, ashlee keeps it nice and simple, her voice is so soft and fragile in this song, and it makes it that much more beautiful, i lovelovelove the music aswell. bonus tracks: 1)invisible 4/5 - i am glad this is on her new album as a bonus track for us living outside the us, i like this song alot, it has a raw feel to it, and it suits her voice alot 2) follow you wherever you go 5/5 - this isn't on the physical cd's release, which annoys me, i reallyreallyreally like this song, it should of made the album, alongside "i'm out" and "can't have it all", the chorus is ace! 3) pieces of me and boyfriend, two classics from her previous albums, there was no point including them on this album, but i love them anyway overall album rating 4.5/5

Ashlee's Hot Stuff

Remember Ashlee Simpson? Yes/No? Well she is Jessica Simpson's Younger sister, who's had a string of Hits in America; and one or two here in the UK. (Remember ''Boyfriend' in 05?) She was famous for her different Pop/Rock; sound not too far from a post ''Girlfriend'' Avril Lavigne! She's back with.. A New Look, A New Album & A New Sound. She's worked with Timbaland on the catchy first Single ''Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya)'' but that's not the only song he produced: ''Rulebreaker'', ''Ragdoll'', "Bittersweet World'', ''Murder'' & ''What I've Become'' all are Timbaland crafted Masterpieces, so if you like his work; you'll love these. Another track not to be missed if the uber-catchy ''Boys'' with it's 80's sound & crafty beats, if you are missing the ''old'' Ashlee, then there is also 1 or 2 songs for you Pop/Rock power balled ''Little Miss Obsessive'', the grumpy ''What I've Become'' & the classic ''Invisible''. If you want a sweet balled then your in for a sickly sweet treat, with ''Never Dream Alone''. This is an album for everyone, More rounded than Ashlee's first 2 album's, & polished to perfection. Ashlee can be proud in knowing; she has made the best Album to be heard from a Simpson sister!


Born: 03 October 1984 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

She might be the younger sister of superstar Jessica Simpson, but don't confuse their tastes or style when it comes to music. Waco, Texas-born Ashlee Simpson always loved music. At age 11 she was the youngest person ever admitted into the School of American Ballet. At 14 she moved with her parents and older sister to Los Angeles and spent time dancing in Jessica's stage show. Appearances on Malcolm in the Middle and The View led to a regular role on the television show Seventh Heaven but Ashlee's...
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Bittersweet World, Ashlee Simpson
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