Ashlee Simpson isn’t shying away from what some say was the biggest mistake — and the biggest moment — of her career. The “SNL” incident looms large on her forthcoming LP, In Another Life, which has not one but two songs on the subject.
Perhaps she just couldn’t avoid it, if she wanted to tackle more meaningful subject matter this time around (see “Ashlee Simpson Going ’80s, Getting Personal On Next Album” ). Whereas the singer’s debut, Autobiography, was mostly about her love life, In Another Life, due October 18, goes deeper, according to her manager and father Joe Simpson. “You know, the beautiful thing about Ashlee is that she’s really willing to bare her soul,” he said. “This record is about discovering herself as a 20-year-old woman.”
That 20-year-old isn’t above having fun — her first single, “L.O.V.E.,” which will be out at the end of August, is a girl-power song about going dancing with your friends. “It’s all about the boyfriend didn’t call, so she decides to go out with her girls, because they’re always faithful,” he said. ” ’Forget the boys, it’s just us girls,’ so it’s great.” That’s not the only party track — “Nasty Girls” is also about dancing, “which she obviously loves to do,” Joe Simpson said.
But Simpson turns inward on “Beautifully Broken” and “Who Will Help Me When I Fall,” the two songs that address the “SNL” incident (see “Ashlee Blames Gastric Distress For ’SNL’ Lip-Synch Snafu” ). “There’s no way to get away from mistakes,” he said. “There’s no way to run away from failure because in everyone’s life, you’re going to meet it. So we try to teach our girls the way to do it is head on. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go at it.”
“That’s the greatest lesson Ashlee’s learned,” he continued. “You know she was riding really high for a minute and indestructible. In one second, her world came apart, and you know there were moments when we didn’t know if she was going to be able to pull it out. But she got up, and she went out, she toured, and she’s a real star.”
Even if her songs have grown up a bit, fans shouldn’t worry that Ashlee’s ventured too deep into singer/songwriter territory.
“They’re going to love this record because it’s more of the same,” he promised, noting that she’s working with the same team again, including producer John Shanks and songwriter Kara DioGuardi. “They are all three writing, and I would say we are 98 percent done. There will be some tweaks that we got to do to get the vocals just right, but we’re basically done. She’s got some great rock songs.”
Other songs include “Goodbye” and “Didn’t Steal Your Boyfriend.”
For Ashlee’s part, she’s “so excited” about being nearly done. “It’s all so near, and I have a bunch of songs I really love,” she said.