Lest anyone has forgotten, Ashlee Simpson appeared on “Saturday Night Live” last October. As she prepared to sing her second song, a prerecorded vocal track of her first performance erroneously began playing, revealing that she had been lip-syncing. Simpson, who said she had to use prerecorded vocals because her acid reflux had left her unable to sing, was vilified for passing off her performance as live.
Not surprisingly, that event and the aftermath found their way onto her new Geffen album, which, like her 2004 debut “Autobiography,” she wrote with Kara Dioguardi and John Shanks.
The tune “Beautifully Broken” most clearly references those events. “I’ve obviously fallen on my face before in front of a bunch of people, but I’ve learned it’s a beautiful thing and it’s OK for people to be broken,” she says. “That song is about the moment where it’s like, ‘God, I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to get out of my bed tomorrow.’ But you have to get yourself to get up and continue.”
Musically, the album is more aggressive than “Autobiography” and also shows the 1980s influence of such female rockers as Joan Jett and Terri Nunn, which is surprising, since Simpson is only 20. “I just love ’80s music,” she says. “It’s just so light and fun, and that was a lot of what I wanted to do on this record.”