Jessica Simpson cutting a country album falls fairly low on the surprise scale, especially given the still-mooing cash cow of modern Nashville. It’s also no shock to anyone who’s even casually followed her nine-year career that the girl can sing. But while it’s nice to hear her pipes free of breathless pop production, it’s a shame she ran with such bland, emotionally self-indulgent material for Do You Know.
Over the course of four albums in nearly ten years, the public at large has proven largely indifferent to Jessica Simpson the pop singer, stringing her along with a handful of charting singles but never quite giving her a big, undeniable pop hit, the kind that would justify her celebrity. Given that anemic track record, why wouldn't a good ol' Texas girl like Jessica leave the city for the country? That's exactly what Simpson and her omnipresent father/manager Joe have done with 2008's Do You Know, placing all their chips on the gamble that country fans will believe Jessica is now a sexy, sassy cowgirl, even though Do You Know has exactly as much sex and sass as her pop albums, meaning none at all. Just like her pop albums, the lively first single "Come on Over" -- sharing a title with Shania, but none of Twain's swing or strut -- is a ringer, suckering audiences into an album that's stiff and stuffy, an endless parade of dreary ballads and crawling love songs.