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It's that time of year again, that time when we roll out our best features of the past year so we can go out and shop and whoop it up at holiday parties and look around the neighborhood to see how many kids are building surly-looking Young Jeezy-inspired snowmen. Read on, we promise this is a good one.

It's a moment Ashlee Simpson won't run from. You know what moment we're talking about. Everybody does.

Not only does she not try to escape the noise from the "Saturday Night Live" fallout of '04, she wrote two songs about the night she got caught lip-synching on national television, which appear on her new album, I Am Me (and of course, she just returned to the show to perform again). That headline-hogging experience only made her stronger, and has somehow done nothing worse than endear her to her fans even more.

But the younger Simpson sister has more to talk about than just that. When she sat down with MTV News' Alisha Davis recently, Ashlee also got into that ex she can't stay away from, her attempt to embrace her inner blonde, and her rather shocking goal for the year.

Watch the uncut action in 'MTV News RAW: Ashlee Simpson,' on Overdrive

Alisha Davis: When you were recording the second album, did you feel more pressure or less?

Ashlee Simpson: It was actually less. I went into the studio a month before I was supposed to go in to make the record. I was supposed to take a month off, but I decided to go in and kind of get the pre-jitters or anything that was going wrong out of my system. And when I went in everything started going smooth. It was fun.

Davis: Tell me about what inspired this album.

Simpson: For me, I love Joan Jett and all those people, but my inspiration for this record was really the experiences I've been through this year and life and all that kind of stuff. I go into the juicy stuff, like in your heart, you know, how you really feel and whatnot.

Davis: Is there a song on the album that's particularly dear to you?

Simpson: I have a song called "Beautifully Broken" that I was really excited about, because it goes back to my "Saturday Night Live" experience. And it's basically saying that it's OK to be broken, that there's a beauty in that. And the song is kind of about when you're in bed and you're crying and you don't want to get up the next day. You've made a fool of yourself — [my experience] happened to be in front of the whole world — but it's about finding that inner strength and finding that part in yourself that's like, "Yes, I can put my head up and I can continue."

Davis: I feel like people really relate to you because you went through that.

Simpson: I think the great thing is I don't look at myself like, "Oh, my situation was worse than when you went to do this and you stuttered" or whatever. Or you went to high school and you peed in your pants in front of everybody. I think it's something we can all relate to. Nobody's perfect, and everybody has moments.

Davis: Any other special songs?

Simpson: I have a song called "Catch Me When I Fall," and that's another ballad. It's piano-driven. [That's the other song about] the "SNL" situation. And that's about this loneliness and this emptiness that you feel when you're wondering who's gonna catch your fall. The song is kind of like, when you finish a show and you go home and you're by yourself and you're like, "Maaaan, I'm going through a lot right now and I'm alone." I really did have a lot of people around me, but that was just a feeling that I felt.

I also have a song called "Coming Back for More," and that's a fun, dancey song about an ex-boyfriend, and about how I kept coming back for more.

Ashlee Simpson: Blondes Have More Fun

Davis: We've all been there.

Simpson: Couldn't get enough. So that's kind of what that song is about, and I feel like it continues to be the same, where I can't get enough.

Davis: Well, that heartbreak, you can turn it into art.

Simpson: Exactly. I also have a song called "In Another Life," and that's kind of a cute romantic song about when you meet a guy and it's kind of like he knows everything about you before you really get to know him, and you feel comfortable with him right away. And he makes you feel beautiful.

Davis: So you've gone back to being blond.

Simpson: Yeah. It's been hours and hours of getting to blond, though, like stripping my hair color out. Everybody always laughs, like, "You are so lucky that your hair is still on your head."

Davis: How has it been getting back to blond, because that is you.

Simpson: Yeah, it is like who I am. If you look at pictures of me as a little girl, I have like bleached-blond hair. It's fun being blond again. I feel like, I don't know ... it's not that I get away with more, but it's kind of like ...

Davis: A little "blondes have more fun"?

Simpson: I can be my pouty, raggedy self again. We always look at pictures of when I was a little girl when my hair was blond and just a mess and I'm like always making funny faces. So it's kind of nice to be back to that.

Davis: What about you would surprise your fans the most?

Simpson: Well, I'm a pretty blunt and honest person, so I don't have too many surprises. What you see is what you get.

Well, here's something pretty surprising: I really want to learn to cook this year.

Davis: All right.

Simpson: That's my goal this year. And I think that's kind of surprising.

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Photo: MTV News / Getty Images

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