Picks and Pans Review: Ashlee Simpson

UPDATED 04/28/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/28/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT

Bittersweet World | [

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CRITIC'S CHOICE

POP-ROCK

Bittersweet World, Ashlee Simpson's shockingly good third album, is sweet revenge on all her critics. Indeed, it may finally help her live down that infamous Saturday Night Live lip-syncing scandal. The new CD finds Simpson moving in a dance-pop direction, with help from hitmaking producers Timbaland and Chad Hugo (of the Neptunes), as well as sorely unheralded artist Kenna. The move pays off with groovy '80s throwbacks like "Boys," the best Kylie Minogue song that Kylie never did, and dance-punk tracks like "Rule Breaker" that are deliciously bratty and catchy. Meanwhile, "Little Miss Obsessive," featuring Plain White T's frontman Tom Higgenson, is the kind of pop-rocker that her Fall Out Boy fiancé Pete Wentz can be proud of.
DOWNLOAD THIS: "Bittersweet World," a bass-driven finger-snapper

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