Single Review: Ashlee Simpson “LaLa”

LaLa
Album: Autobiography
Year: 2004

Ashlee Simpson’s career is over. After the SNL incident, her singles dropped out of the Top 40 faster than a bouncing ball. However, it’s not due to the lip-syncing. It’s how it was handled which ruined her.

Many mistakes were made. However, it could’ve been prevented if she hadn’t done a hoedown and walked off stage once “Pieces of Me” began playing again. An unprofessional and immature move which proved she did not belong on live television. A dedicated and seasoned singer would’ve sang along with the recording regardless of the situation.

Then, once the SNL was over, she blamed it on her band. According to the New York Daily News, she was quoted as saying on SNL: “I feel so bad! My band started playing the wrong song! And I didn’t know what to do! I’m sorry! It’s live TV! Things happen! I’m sorry!” The explanation is a heightened panic and desperate response. It’s also a lie and a major no-no in a public relations crisis. By blaming the band, she becomes an entitled, spoiled pop singer who won’t admit she got caught with her voice in the microphone.

One lie, of course, leads to another and soon the Simpsons were changing their stories. By the next day, father Joe Simpson said Ashlee suffered from acid reflux and her voice was hoarse. However, her annoucement at the end of SNL which was repeatedly on television showed a crisp, clear voice. After they found that explanation wasn’t washing, they decided to make fun of it on the Radio Music Awards. She said to her band “you’re playing the wrong song!” Ha ha not. It only reinforced Simpson’s inexperience.

However, Joe Simpson kept talking about it and kept her lip-syncing in the news. As reported by Contactmusic. com, he said “”I was definitely surprised by (the reaction) because she didn’t expose a boob, she wasn’t doing drugs, she isn’t anorexic and she didn’t get married in Vegas .I don’t think this will hurt her credibility with kids; they won’t care.” By doing this, he managed to damage her career even more. Don’t assume people are stupid or shallow. If he had any public relations experience at all, he would’ve realized she was exposed, had her apologize, and then shut up about it. This is not a situation in which the press is courted.

In place of “Autobiography” is the sexually rambonticous “LaLa.” Written by Kara DioGuardi (Thalia, Hilary Duff) and John Shanks (Michelle Branch), Ashlee is the aggressor in “LaLa.” Adventureous and dominating, Ashlee wants sex anytime, anywhere as long as it’s her boyfriend. (“You can dress me up in diamonds/you can dress me up in dirt/you can throw me like a lineman/I like it better when it hurts”). She’s aroused and ready to go as sings that “Oh I have waited/I have waited for you”).

In the chorus, she is subversive and coy by singing “you make me wanna lala in the kitchen on the floor/I’ll be your French maid when I meet you at the door…you make me wanna scream”). While the sexual lyrics are more obvious than Hilary Duff’s almost-classic “Party Up,” it manages to gloss over the rough sex angle. Simpson plays it straight and leaves it to the audience to do the winking.

Public places are fair game which she reveals in the second verse (“you can meet me on an aeroplane or the back of the bus/you can throw me like a boomerang/I’ll come back and beat you up”). She’s vulnerable in the bridge. She feels something real for her boyfriend and it’s more than a sexual relationship (“I feel safe with you/I can be myself tonight/It’s all right with you/’Cause you hold my secrets tight”). So “secrets” is what the kids are calling it nowadays. I feel so out of the loop.

“LaLa” is a sexual liberating tune. Not once is she ashamed or questioning her desires. She knows what she wants and doesn’t pretend otherwise. Lip-synching be damned, Simpson’s music is like the imitation brand of your favorite candy. The flavor is sort of off and while it’s not the original brand, it still manages hit the spot. “LaLa” is imperfect and Pro-tooled, but it’s not that bad as it’s thought to be.

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