Now that Ashlee Simpson has addressed those pregnancy rumors as much as she’s going to at the moment, she’s eager to move on to a less controversial topic: her new album.
Yes, this is the same one she gave MTV News a sneak peek at back in September, then was talking about again in November, and the same one she filmed a Salvador Dali-inspired video for in December. But now, things are different. Because the record is done.
“The record is called Bittersweet World, and it’s completely different than anything I’ve done before. I went into it kind of doing a singer/songwriter thing, but I was like, ‘You know what? I want to do music people can have fun to and listen to in the summer,’ ” Simpson explained. “And it was different. It was a lot of people in one room when you’re writing. And you’re, like, standing naked in front of a stage, because you don’t know these people yet. … You just get in there and start writing with them. But it was a blast.”
Those people included both established hitmakers like Timbaland and the Neptunes’ Chad Hugo, and up-and-coming talent like Santi White (a.k.a. the much-buzzed electro artist Santogold) and the Plain White T’s’ Tom Higgenson, who appears on her current single, “Little Miss Obsessive.”
“I love Tom and the Plain White T’s, so I really wanted to work with Tom,” Simpson said. “It’s a song that kind of relates to the last album, but it grew with the new record. And every girl has gone through that situation. You put your foot in your mouth and you go, ‘Wait, why did I do that?’ We’re on our phones writing and texting too much!”
Totally! Also popping up on the album is Gym Class Heroes MC Travis McCoy, who drops a verse on a track called “Murder.” And while Simpson has talked her up in the past, her alter ego, the vampy Vicky Valentine, doesn’t make an appearance, though she is there in spirit.
“That whole thing was a bit of a joke. … I wasn’t going for, like, Garth Brooks, you know? Where I was two different people,” she said. “I’m not somebody who has an attitude, but there are a lot underlying things on my record that, if you listen to it, you might catch on. Sometimes I would put Vicky’s shoes on, and be like, ‘Snap snap.’ ”
Speaking of cameos, fans looking for some sort of duet with her new fiance are going to be disappointed. Simpson said Bittersweet World is 100 percent Pete Wentz-free, and she intends to keep things that way.
“He would come by the studio sometimes, but that was about it. He had the role of ‘good boyfriend,’ ” she laughed. “Sometimes I would be like, ‘What do you think of this song?’ and that was about it. And no, I’m never going to be recording ‘Married Couple Lullabies’ or something like that. I doubt it.”