Single Review: Jessica Simpson “Take My Breath Away”

Take My Breath Away
Album: In This Skin (Revised Edition)
Year: 2004

On her the revised edition of her album, In This Skin, an acoustic cover of “With You” and two covers were added. One of those covers is Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away.”

The original, although well done, could use an update. But not from Jessica Simpson.

In Simpson’s version, an acoustic guitar and bells are added. The guitar in the infamous hook is toned down. However, as the single continues, it gets louder. At 2:34, the guitar hits its fever pitch and begins to resemble the original chorus.

Her voice is a plus and a minus to the song. First, her voice is stronger and a different octave than Terri Nunn’s. In 1986, the song had the potential to be a power ballad, but Nunn’s voice had its limits. Here, Simpson takes her time and stays on certain notes. However, she also takes them as high as she can go. By 2:45, she is screaming the notes. It’s an excessive and gaudy moment.

The desperation and questioning, which defined the original, is gone. With Simpson, the song is passionate and sensual. For her, it’s about falling in love and being together forever. This is most evident in the bridge: “when the mirror crashed I called you/and turned to hear you say/if only for today/I am unafraid.” In the original, Nunn’s lover was pushing her away. In Simpson’s, her lover is realizing he is in love with her. “Take My Breath Away” lends itself easily to reintrepretion without it being confusing. Here, it’s a welcome change. Now, it feels like a love song.

However, a better choice would’ve been to release the second cover, which is Robbie Williams’ “Angels.” Not many people have heard it in the United States and the comparisons would’ve been minimal.

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