Can you imagine what a song called ‘Push Your Tush’ might sound like? Perhaps a little disco homage to line dancing? You thought so? Then I suggest you hotfoot it down to ‘the mall’, buy this CD and read no further. You will only be offended, and I get enough hate mail as it is.
Let’s face it. This was never going to be pretty. Even those unfortunates who were once suckered into Simpson’s world have turned against her on the basis of her latest effort. Surely this is a sign that enough is enough. Someone let this mass of big, blonde hair and low necklines release four albums before this one and it’s scarcely believable that she’s back for yet another round of trying to convince the world (or pubescent boys at least) that a tight arse in a pair of hotpants is a substitute for real talent. True, on the premise of being a role model, she may have nice white teeth, ‘pioneer’ the fashion and film industries and even take her multi-tasking skills to volunteer in Kenya, but give us booze hound Britney any day. At least she’s real.
Seriously, though, the spectacle of A Public Affair is utterly repulsive. I’m all for using femininity for getting what you want out of life, but here is a woman who generally epitomises all that is dated about the fairer sex. The kind of rubbish you might expect from an album largely inspired by a post-reality TV divorce settlement, A Public Affair is the sound of hormonal pre-teen girls everywhere cracking open the Ben & Jerry’s and smearing it miserably around their faces as the dream of holding a man with a six-pack slips out of consciousness for another night.
Simpson’s warbling and terrible diction might seem like a lesser concern in the face of all that, but for the rest of us it’s an excruciating chore. From the title track’s naff imitation of the Madonna classic ‘Holiday’ to the heinous ballad ‘Back To You’ — the latter pondering the woe of no longer having a “porch swing for two” — there’s precious little worth paying the slightest bit of attention to. Unlike Gwen Stefani, who got all funky with her electro/hip-hop masterclass, or Nelly Furtado who made us go ‘woah!’ with her melodic and fresh take on modern R&B, Ms Simpson’s weapon of choice is, sadly, not her producer but the AutoTune button. She has an uncanny knack for making many different musical styles sound exactly the same.
A Public Affair is alarmingly akin to all the colours of a cheap cocktail pitcher thrown up on the pavement outside and trodden through the bar on the tottering heel of an underage patron.
[RCA; February 12, 2007]
Tagged jessica simpson