In This Skin

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In This Skin
Studio album by Jessica Simpson
Released August 19, 2003 (US)
April 19, 2004 (UK)
September 4, 2004 (Australia)
Recorded 2002–03
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 41:57
Label Columbia
Producer Greg Barnhill, billymann, Damon Elliott, Greg Fitzgerald, Rob Fusari, Franne Golde, Trina Harmon, Richie Jones, Holly Lamar, Kasia Livingston, Lee Mars, Andy Marvel, David Munk, Keith Thomas, Ric Wake, Andrew Williams
Jessica Simpson chronology
This Is the Remix
(2002)
In This Skin
(2003)
In This Skin: Collector's Edition
(2004)
Singles from In This Skin
  1. "Sweetest Sin"
    Released: July 22, 2003
  2. "With You"
    Released: October 13, 2003

In This Skin is the third studio album by American recording artist Jessica Simpson. The album was released in 2003 by Columbia Records. It was re-released in March 2004 with three new songs. The album was a huge success in North America, in the United States reached its highest position at number #2 on the Billboard 200, earning a certificate of triple platinum.[1] In This Skin went on to become the 35th best selling album of 2004, and has sold over 7 million copies worldwide.[2] According to Billboard magazine the album was ranked the number 153 on the list of top-selling album of the 2000s.[3]

Background[edit]

After the release of her 2001 album Irresistible, Simpson stated she wanted to write songs for her third record. In an interview by MTV in October 2002, Lachey, her then husband, revealed that she is back in the studio, working on a new record. He said "she's finally writing her own music, which I've told her she could do forever but she's been shy about stepping out there and doing it. But she's an incredible writer, and she's doing stuff that's really from the heart". About the album's sound, he said "It's a much more organic record and it's more true to herself", he continued saying "There's all live instrumentation and it's very musical as opposed to the pop thing that was happening before for her. I think she finally feels like this is her record and her chance to do exactly what she wants."[4] In March 2003, Simpson revealed that her third album will be called In This Skin.[5]

Production[edit]

18 second sample from the mid-tempo ballad written by Dianne Warren.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Originally, the album was planned to be primarily produced by American female rapper Missy Elliott, while the sole featured appearance was to be made by Nick Lachey.[6] However, the pair's contributions never made the final cut of the album. "Sweetest Sin," the album's first single was written by Diane Warren and it's about losing her virginity.[7] MTV regarded the song as a "sweet track".[8] About the idea of her second single, With You, Simpson said "it's cool for me just because it's my personality [...] Nick loves me with nothing but a T-shirt on so that's where the song idea came from."[9] The cover Take My Breath Away is Simpson and Lachey's love theme, she said "because it was playing the first time Nick kissed me".[10] "I've been obsessed with 'Take My Breath Away' for a very long time", she said. Nick Lachey helped produce the vocals for both of her cover songs. Another album's song is Angels, which was a tough session, Simpson said, because she had to do both songs in one day. Lachey helped her get in the right mood, she said, by keeping his hand in her back pocket "and being right there" during the recording session.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly C-[12]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[13]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[14]
Stylus Magazine D+[15]

Initial critical response to In This Skin was generally negative. Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine gave the album 2.5 stars rating, saying "The catchy tune, penned by Diane Warren, is a glossy, ever-so-slightly over-produced affair. And the same can be said for the entire album, which is weighed down by soggy, overwrought pop ballads that find Simpson repeatedly declaring her devotion to Lachey. "My Way Home" contains one, bizarre 15-second display of Simpson's lung capacity and a Middle Eastern ether so faint and wispy it virtually evaporates beneath the track's slick production. In This Skin contains a few surprises, though, including "Forbidden Fruit," a track unabashedly inspired by Madonna's "Music," and "Loving You," a seductively contrived reminder that, with teen pop long dead, Simpson should be aiming to recapture the club audience that helped launch her career with I Wanna Love You Forever."[14]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic gave the album 2.5 stars rating with a negative review, saying "Now, for her third album, In This Skin, she tones down the trashy club beats and image, staying within the contemporary dance-pop realm while inching toward the middle-of-the-road diva that she's always yearned to be. The problem with In This Skin is that its heart is in the mature middle of the road but its sound is still pitched too young, making this a record that satisfies neither audience."[1] Jon Caramanica of Rolling Stone gave the album 2 stars, quoting "Judging by Skin, her third album, it's a lesson she's still working through. Her powerful voice is done a disservice by insipid songwriting and arrangements -- as on the loathsome club track 'Forbidden Fruit' and the uncomfortably stately ballad 'You Don't Have to Let Go' -- that consistently get in the way of her pipes."[13]

Chart performance[edit]

It was during the release of this album that Simpson had become a household name, due in part to her reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. At first, In This Skin wasn't doing very well on the charts, as it debuted at #10 with 64,000 copies and quickly sank to the bottom of the Billboard 200 album charts. In five months, the album had sold just 565,000 copies.[16] However, sales began to steadily increase during the Holiday season in 2003. By that point, Simpson had been receiving huge attention from the media for her antics on Newlyweds, and because of that radio stations warmly welcomed her second single, With You, which eventually brought the album back into the top twenty on the Billboard charts. Then, Columbia Records decided to re-release In This Skin with several new tracks in order to utilize the success of the singer. With "With You" on the top of the radio charts in February 2004, Simpson released her third single, "Take My Breath Away", as the first single from the new re-release. On March 20, 2004, the re-release worked as In This Skin jumped from 16 to 2 selling 159,500 copies in that week, seeing a 205% increase in sales.[17] It was her highest first week sales at the time, beating the sales of her sophomore album "Irresistible", which debuted at number six with 120,000 copies.[17] The album stayed in the top ten for eight non-consecutive weeks and stayed in the Top 100 for sixty-one weeks. It stayed in the Billboard 200 for 75 weeks.[18] In December 2004, In This Skin was certified 3x Multi Platinum by the RIAA for sales more than 3 million copies only in U.S.[19][20] The album ranked the #14 in Billboard Year End Charts Albums 2004.[21]

In Australia, April 4, the album debuted at #40. In its seventh week peaked #13 and became her highest peak in Australia for any Simpson's album to date. In This Skin stayed in the Top 50 for 27 weeks. Later the album was certified Platinum by the ARIA. In Ireland, In This Skin debuted at #58. In its second week fell to #75 and in its fourth week the album peak at #27. The album remained in the top 75 for 8 weeks.[22] In UK, the album debuted at #36, the same peak that reached her first album Sweet Kisses. Remained in the top 75 for 5 weeks. In Canada, the album reached at number twenty-one and later was certified Gold by the CRIA. In Switzerland, no single was released to promote the album. Which the album debuted at #78 and remained in the chart only for three weeks. A low number after her previous albums Sweet Kisses and Irresistible, reached the #5 and #15 respectively. In Latin America, the album peak at #4 in Venezuela, its highest peak there since Irresistible that reached #10. In This Skin was the 35th best selling album of 2004 and has sold 7 million copies worldwide.[23][24]

Singles[edit]

18 second sample from the mid-tempo ballad written by Dianne Warren.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Sweetest Sin" was released as the lead single from In This Skin. The music video, directed by Dean Paraskavopoulos,[25] starts with black-and-white shots of Simpson dancing and looking at viewers. It cuts to Simpson swaying on a beach, and embracing Nick Lachey underneath a waterfall on the beach. Further scenes are presented, such as one in which Simpson lies on a bed by herself. The video continues with intercut footage of the previous scenes, until the final seconds of the song, when Simpson is joined by her husband, in which they move on their bed on the beach. The video ends when Lachey disappears, leaving the singer alone. "With You" was released as the album's second single on September 16, 2003. The song received positive reviews from critics. Enjoyed more success, reaching at top ten on Australia and UK and top-twenty on Ireland, Norway and United States. The single was her first number one in Top 40 Mainstream chart. Later was certified Gold in US and Platinum on Australia. The video of the song was released as a DVD single. Simpson received one and only MTV Europe Music Award nomination for Best Female, enjoying her commercial success outside America.It received two MTV Video Music Award nominations for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video.[26][27]

Promotion[edit]

Simpson arriving at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.

Simpson performed "Sweetest Sin" live at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[28] The performance, dedicated to Lachey, was recorded and later broadcast on the second season of Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica.[29] "With You" was also performed on American late-night show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and American morning show Live with Regis and Kelly on October 17 and October 23, 2003. She also gave a memorable performance of "With You"/"Angels" at 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. The promotion of "Angels" by Simpson was extensive; she sang a Spanglish duet of the song with Spanish singer David Bisbal at the 2004 Latin Grammy Awards, performed it on VH1 Divas 2004 and on shows like Late Show with David Letterman and The Early Show. She later performed it during the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars.

The Reality Tour[edit]

The Reality Tour to promote In This Skin was the second concert tour by Jessica Simpson. While promoting the re-release of her album, Simpson stated in several interviews the possibility of a tour, wanting to break away from filming her TV series and connect with her fans. The tour was officially announced in May 2004 through various media outlets,[30] with sponsorship from Ice Breakers[31] and Proactiv Solution.[32] Due to the popularity of the album, Simpson would play in arenas and amphitheatres, in contrast to her first tour performing in malls and festivals. With the outing, the singer's states she was happy to take a break from cameras following her every moves. With the success of the TV show, Simpson designed the tour as if the audience were watching her on television.

During an interview with the Associated Press, the singer said she wanted the concerts to focus on her music and her personality.[33] Onstage, Simpson was joined by a seven-piece band, with no dancers or choreography for the show. Simpson would perform songs from her three current albums, while providing anecdotes about her life and the songs. Unseen footage from her reality series and variety show (titled The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour) were included in the show as well. Each night, the singer dedicated "I Have Loved You" to the American armed forces and conducted a Q&A session with contest winners.[34]

Before the tour commenced, Simpson performed at several radio-sponsored music festivals including Your Show,[35] Wango Tango,[36] Summer Music Mania,[37] Zootopia,[38] Kiss Concert,[39] and Play Safe in the Park.[40]

The excursion began in New Orleans in June. It traveled the country over the next two months, visiting over 30 cities, ending August 1 in Paso Robles. Despite early reports of poor ticket sales,[41] Simpson's tour became one of the biggest summer tours in North America, prompting the singer to add an additional leg for the U.S.[42] Eleven concerts were planned for September and October. To date, the tour serves as Simpson's last major concert tour. The tour ranked 87th on Pollstar's "Top 100 Tours 2004", earning over seven million dollars.[43]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Sweetest Sin"   Diane Warren Ric Wake, Richie Jones[a] 3:14
2. "With You"   Jessica Simpson, Andy Marvel, billymann billymann, Marvel 3:12
3. "My Way Home"   Simpson, Damon Elliott, Romeo Antonio Elliott 3:13
4. "I Have Loved You"   Holly Lamar, Greg Barnhill, Denise Rich Lamar, Barnhill, David Munk[b], Lee Mars[b] 4:45
5. "Forbidden Fruit"   Simpson, Greg Fitzgerald, Thomas Nichols Fitzgerald 3:30
6. "Everyday See You"   Simpson, Andrew Williams, Franne Golde, Kasia Livingston Williams, Golde, Livingston 4:18
7. "Underneath"   Simpson, Matthew Gerrard, Trina Harmon Keith Thomas 4:02
8. "You Don't Have to Let Go"   Simpson, Jason Deere, Harmon Harmon 3:43
9. "Loving You"   Simpson, Elliott, Craig Young Elliott 3:31
10. "In This Skin"   Simpson, Rob Fusari, Harmon Fusari 4:18
11. "Be"   Simpson, Williams, Golde, Livingston Williams, Golde, Livingston 4:11
Notes
  • Track listing and credits from album booklet.
  • ^a signifies additional producer
  • ^b signifies vocal producer

Charts and certifications[edit]