Single Review: Nick Lachey “Shut Up”

Shut Up
Album: Soulo
Year: 2003

On the “Nick and Jessica Variety Hour,” Nick Lachey was dressed as a dog for a skit who was speaking on a late night talk show. Not only did he lose his own identity to a reality show which mainly boosted Jessica Simpson’s career, but he lost his last itty-bitty shred of dignity he had left.

However, since his career is interwined with Simpson’s, it leaves him a limited set of options as to what to promote. He could do something else entirely like edgy dance-pop. However, then it would leave him alienating the young girls who watch Newlyweds and still think of him as ‘The lead 98 Degrees guy.’ Not to mention, it would ring false because of the show which still paints him as a member of a boy band. He could go into the R&B genre which could at least have some plausibility considering 98 Degrees used to be on the now defunct Motown label. R&B is a loose genre nowadays and it could be a possible sell.

Instead, Team Lachey went the same route that Team Jessica Simpson did: release an album declaring how much they are in love with each other in each song. The first single has to involve the fact that they can have sex now because Jessica had the virginity angle going. Both had singles written by major hitmakers (Diane Warren “Sweetest Sin” and the Matrix “Shut Up”). And the sex is either something that is really good but wrong (“Sweetest Sin”) or something to solve the wrongs in the relationship but it is still really, really good (“Shut Up”).

The theatrical “Shut Up” catches Nick and Jessica in the middle of soap opera-esque fight (“You say you want me/that you hate me/try to love wanna break me/guess I’m sleeping on the couch again”).But Nick just wants to forget about it and have sex (“Turn out the light/forget how to fight/cuze we got tonight”).

In the chorus, Nick then sings that having sex magically ends their problems and then there the perfect lovey-dovey couple their fans see on “Newlyweds” (“When we take our clothes off/don’t you know the world stops/when we touch, when we kiss/when we shut up for a moment”). Of course, it’s nothing that some communication skills wouldn’t be able to solve either. But then again lyrics like “when we sit on the couch/don’t you know that I feel hurt/when you put me down, say mean things/like ‘the video’s fine when you hate it/think you’re beneath viewing it/when you say ‘baby, daddy is staying for the week.”

In the second verse, a spot of violence brings on the urge for Nick. (“You throw a glass straight at my head/Swear up and down you want me dead/I guess love is in the air tonight/you bite my neck, I pull your hair/next thing we know, no underwear”). Oh yes, domestic abuse is so so sexy. Tell that the women who fear the next time their husbands throw a glass or several right at them.

The third verse focuses on what arouses him about Jessica when they’re having sex (“Use your tongue to wet your lips/touch them with your fingertips…Only wanna hear your breath/your sigh, your scream, you’re nothing less”). Suddenly, I feel like when I’m back in high school and the Big Man On Campus is talking about he hit it with the hottest girl at school last night. I got squicked out then and now thanks to Lachey, squickiness is coming out of my ears after listening to this verse. Then it continues repeating the chorus until the end.

The horns which Lachey comments on the press release posted on Extratv.com “that it’s fresh and different with the horns and the guitar.” Actually by using the horn, slap bass and elastic guitar, it seems like it’s been made for a smutty, low-budget pornographic movie.

The Matrix will recover and release much better than this. Nick, however, has b-list films to work on and backlash from the reality show to look forward to.

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