- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)45
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)35
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
Music review: Jessica Simpson goes country on CD
Jessica Simpson, "Do You Know" (Epic/Columbia Nashville)
Jessica Simpson's jump from pop to country music may seem calculated to save her music career, but the Texas native says she grew up a country fan. Still, no one expected an album of waltzes and two-steppers. Predictably, her debut collection, "Do You Know," focuses on slick Nashville pop; no will mistake any of the 11 songs as boot-scooting honky tonk or dirt-road country rock.
Guided by Nashville's Brett James and Grammy-winning producer John Shanks, Simpson handles her vocals with careful professionalism. She also co-wrote eight of the 11 songs, hooking up with contemporary country hit-makers Hillary Lindsey, Luke Laird and Rachel Proctor, among others, for tunes that fit the current Nashville formulas.
But there's nothing that distinguishes her voice or her musical direction from other country newcomers. At her best, as on the ballad "Still Don't Stop Me," Simpson suggests she has potential to be a more singular artist than she's yet proven. But from the first hit, "Come On Over," to the religious-based "Pray Out Loud" to the love song to her quarterback boyfriend, "You're My Sunday," there's little on Simpson's down-home transition to propose she is ready to compete creatively or commercially with Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift.
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Simpson once famously botched the words of a Dolly Parton song during a live concert being taped for a television special, but she handles herself better on a duet with the country legend on the title song, which was written by Parton.