I know what Jennifer Love Hewitt did last summer.
She recorded her first album in six years. And like the scary movie that made her a big-screen starlet, the name is enough to draw you in.
Don't read too much into the steamy title, though. It's a euphemism for being unsure of yourself, as Hewitt explains in the opening verse of her similarly named new single, "Bare Naked": "Do you ever have that dream where you're walking naked down the street and everyone just stares?"
"It is a song for every 14-year-old girl who starts school this year to know there is someone else in the world who is just as insecure, and it's me," Hewitt explained at Sunday's Teen Choice Awards (see "Nelly Outsurfs 'NSYNC, Ja Rule, Usher At Teen Choice Awards"). "I don't think kids think that we get insecure, 'cause we kind of have these amazing lives, but I'm 23 and I'm pretty much the same as them."
Hewitt, who performed "Bare Naked" at the awards show, wrote the song about her feelings on returning to the music industry after an unsuccessful run in the early '90s. "I'm sure there will be mixed views on that," Hewitt said. "But it was something I wanted to do."
Like she sings in the song's chorus, life is what you make it, so Hewitt is charging headfirst back into singing, which was the reason she came to Los Angeles in the first place.
For BareNaked, due September 17, Hewitt wrote the lyrics for every song, while producer Meredith Brooks, who had a hit with "Bitch" in 1997, wrote the music (see "Meredith Brooks Preps Album, Produces Jennifer Love Hewitt LP").
"I was a really big fan of her music, and she was sending out a song to
other artists, so I went to her house for an afternoon and we hit it off and
started writing," Hewitt said. A year later, "we ended up with the whole
Musically, BareNaked is a hodgepodge of Hewitt's influences, which
range from Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin to Norah Jones and John Mayer.
The former "Party of Five" star doesn't play any instruments on the record,
but she's learning guitar, which she may play on tour.
"If the record does well and kids want me to tour, I will absolutely love it
and be there 100 percent," Hewitt said of her fall plans. "But a good movie
is hard to pass up, so I will balance them both."
Hewitt will appear next in theaters with Jackie Chan in "The Tuxedo," which hits theaters September 27.
Before then she'll appear on the small screen, performing on "The Tonight
Show With Jay Leno" September 16 and presenting at the Latin Grammy Awards
on September 18.