Picks and Pans Review: Jessica Simpson

updated 09/15/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/15/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

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For her country music debut, pop singer Simpson skews more rock than rural. Many of the 11 tunes (all but three cowritten by Simpson) open on a gentle steel guitar or mandolin, then suddenly—bam!—morph into overwrought power ballads. Simpson—who tends to wail rather than interpret a song—does conjure up some feeling on the unabashed vow-of-love title tune (penned and harmonized on by Dolly Parton) and "Remember That," a cautionary tale of spousal abuse. Whether or not she finds country success, let's hope her next venture is Jessica Simpson unplugged.

DOWNLOAD THIS: The infectious single "Come On Over"

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