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Ashlee Simpson – Autobiography

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I am going to go out on a limb here – but I imagine the internal checklist that Ashlee Simpson went through before creating her debut album went something like this:

1.) Distance self from older, hot, dopey sister Jessica
2.) Establish street cred by writing own songs
3.) Write very personal songs that will create voyeuristic like mystique
4.) Avoid comparisons to Courtney Love, Alanis Morrisette and Avril Lavigne

I am not afraid to say it – I’m a mom, a thirty-something and I dig Ashlee Simpson. Hell, I even like her ditzy big sis Jessica.

While there are few comparisons to be made musically between Jessica and Ashlee – they are sisters and they do have the same parents. So they share some inherent traits.

Both are fresh faced, pretty, earnest and sweet. They seem to be relatively down-to-earth girls. Mom and Dad Simpson must have some good genetic material to work with, plus they have worked very hard at guiding their girls successfully down their respective life and career paths.

Unlike her seemingly empty-headed sister, Ashlee’s a little more worldly and slightly more on top of things. Sharing writing credits on ALL her songs, she also possesses a voice all her own: distinct, not blessed with the honey-like consistency of sister Jess – but soulful, raw and full of character. She reminds me of Courtney Love, but with her underwear and goodness intact.

Ashlee (like sis Jess – as she is referred to) also enjoys the double exposure of having her own show, which chronicles her day to day struggle with promoting her album – including overcoming voice injury, dealing with interfering (but well-meaning) parents, and of course, stepping out of the shadows of her super media-exposed big sis.

She comes across as genuine, but a little over-the-top in her attempts to separate her image from the looming figure that is Jessica Simpson. Admittedly, not an easy feat to achieve. She gets TONS of respect from me though for being her own person and writing her own songs. Let’s see Britney try that.

The entire album is solid, with some noteworthy singles. My favorite, “Pieces of Me” is a superbly crafted pop-rock single, with a catchy refrain.

“Oh it seems like I can finally rest my head on something real
I like the way that feels
Oh it’s as if you know me better than I ever knew myself
I love how you can tell
All the pieces of me
All the pieces of me.”

The title single “Autobiography” is equally rocking, striking an anthemic tone for all the struggling “trying to find myself” post-adolescent young women it’s targeted to.

There are no bad songs on the album. Nice job little ‘sis!

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About Dawn Olsen

  • This review was chosen for Advance.net. You will be able to find it on newspaper sites including Cleveland.com.

  • Eric Olsen

    The Justene seal of approval, I like it.

    Very nice job Dawn, and your approbation is quite a shock indeed.

  • Dopey

    I think she ROCKS!! I love her songs I think their great… Most of my friends dont really like her cus she too “poppy” but.. I love her.. She.. the one that made me believe on my self.. with her song Shadow.. the 1st time I heard it.. I knew what she was talking about… cus Jessica and Ashlee remind me soo much of my sister and I my sister is ALWAYS good..and she is also the main singer in our church.. and me.. am soo diff am rebel.. I was always.. soo out going and not really caring what people really thougth of me just cus my dad is the pastor dosent mean that am suppose to be a good girly at church and following my sisters steps one thing I hate when they say “Oh you should be more like your sister” and I so tottaly understand Ash with her song “Shadow” cus with that song.. It made me realize I am something… 🙂 and.. I love her.. and she is soo awesome..!! 😀

  • jessica

    ashlee i think you are awesome

  • Mia

    well i think ashlee simple ROCK AND ROLL, she is hot, she is a rebel, she makes a lot of mistakes but who dont

    come on, everybody loves ash