Ashlee Simpson's `Bittersweet World'

April 18, 2008 12:41:45 PM PDT
There's no reason to believe that Ashlee Simpson is living in a "Bittersweet World." Jess' fun-loving little sis is newly engaged, with a giant sparkler from Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, and has been blissfully showing it off to the cameras.

As it happens, the songs on Simpson's third studio album sound more sweet than bitter. Though the effervescent pop-punkster is growing up, with a maybe baby on the way, the disc retains the girly-tomboy vibe and sleek production of her previous albums.

This time around, Simpson enlisted the sonic skills of megaproducer Timbaland and The Neptunes' Chad Hugo, and it shows in beat-heavy songs like "Murder," featuring rapper Izza Kizza, and "Boys," the album's best song, in which Simpson coyly croons: "Some say I make the guys/Hyptonized/When I bat my eyes/And walk past/They say I'm such a tease/But that's just me."

The cheeky fun extends to tracks like "Rule Breaker," "Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya)" and "Hot Stuff," a flirty dance number; other songs take a serious tone when exploring the heavier subject of failed relationships. In "What I've Become," the tabloid fixture comments on her celebrity: "It'd be nice to make/Some mistakes without observations. ... Let me live as who I am."

Tell that to Perez Hilton. Now Ashlee, come clean: Are you pregnant or what?