Saturday, May 03, 2008

Bittersweet World - Ashlee Simpson

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It's no real secret that I think that Ashlee Simpson is, ahem, a bit of alright but the real interesting factor on the release of her third album, Bittersweet World is that is come at roughly the same time as Madonna's Hard Candy. Intriguing as both make copious use of Timbaland and The Neptunes (with Madonna siding with Pharrell as Ashlee makes use of Chad Hugo) at the production helm.

What is most interesting is that whilst Madonna has gone straight for the obvious, radio friendly sound, Ashlee Simpson has been pushed in the direction of the more interesting and, dare I say it, less ordinary sound. So whereas Madonna's album is chock full of exactly what you would expect, Bittersweet World surprises at almost every turn.

Lead single Outta My Head was a fine slice of 80's influenced pop and it's hardly the only thing worth listening to on here. Boys, Rulebreaker and Murder are the kind of things that snobby music critics would find some merit in if Kylie/Gwen Stefani/Rhianna did, but it's probably true that Simpsons' deleterious public image automatically rules out any praise.

Like her previous albums, it's in no way a "must-hear" album but like her previous efforts it contains enough catchy pop tunes to make it somewhat of a worthwhile listen. She may be totally directed by her expensive producers and she may not have much to say that is worth listening to, but that's not done Madonna any harm for the past decade.

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