by Jessica Simpson, pop (2001)
Sony/Columbia, ASIN B00005K404

It has to happen, doesn't it? In the carefully calculated and controlled environment of female teen queens, the follow-up album has to feature a "sexual empowerment" theme. Britney Spears starts acting like a sexpot on crack. Mandy Moore fills up her bra to make up for her bankrupt music. And Jessica Simpson, well, she wears a cleverly deceptive "Gee, see-thru shirt but it ain't really!" outfit on her CD sleeve and goes R&B lite. I'm scared to see how Christina Aguilera will look on her new CD cover.

Anyway, back to topic, regardless of how clichéd musically Irresistible is, there's no denying that Simpson can sing. And wisely she scales down on her banshee shriek most of the time. This album is actually pretty listenable.

The title track has her shredding her Virgin Queen image with lines like "I know I should say no but..." It's a smooth, groovy track that is catchy - I can't get the chorus out of my mind. And there are many worthy follow-up's to this track - A Little Bit and Hot Like Fire aren't too bad, if musically similar and sounding tad like Mariah Carey's urban R&B stuff.

The ballads aren't too bad either. Her duet with everybody's duet partner, Marc Anthony, is too darned catchy. There You Were is pure schmaltz, but it's an anthemic love-found-us-oh-my-baby-oh-oh-oh piece of schmaltz, so it's okay. Her ex, Nick Lachey, even wrote two tunes for her, one a midtempo one, Forever In Your Eyes, and a swooshy ballad that's actually very good, To Fall In Love Again.

Jessica Simpson sounds like a, uhm, whiter, less plastic Mariah Carey in this one. Think of it as a throwback to Mariah Carey's Music Box days. Irresistible is pure generic pop with little identity, but it is very nice to the ears. It's even irresistible.

Rating: 86

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