There are many reasons Jessica Simpson failed at pop music: Her song choices were laughable, her voice was unremarkable, and she didn’t have even a sniff of charisma. Shockingly, “goin’ country” hasn’t changed any of that. While Miranda Lambert is loadin’ her shotgun and Carrie Underwood is takin’ a Louisville Slugger to both headlights, Jessica Simpson is idlin’ by, desperately pinin’ for public approval.
A country album should have been the perfect platform for Simpson to recapture the fun of her Newlyweds naïf. Instead, she insists on tiresome ballads about lost love, looking for love and finding love in Tony Romo—it’s like every one of her People covers set to slow-tempo. There is no tooth, no gut, just monotony and palpable disinterest; even Jessica Simpson sounds bored with Jessica Simpson.
Adding insult to injury, Simpson transparently tries to prove her country cred with lines like “I could’ve been your June Carter Cash,” but she sings with the conviction of someone who caught a half-hour of Walk the Line on Starz. Plus, the album is littered with sentiments so trite (“It takes the good and the bad/The happy and sad to make you feel alive”) that even the Muppets would roll their eyes. Let’s cut the crap: This is not a country album. This is a below-average adult-contemporary album with slide guitar.