Jessica Simpson, “Pray Out Loud”

jessicaOne probably thought they knew what to expect from Jessica Simpson on her latest  single, “Pray Out Loud,” simply by reading the title: The big-voiced former Christian pop singer was going to put forth her best Martina McBride imitation and sing for the rafters. It was going to be over-the-top, joyous, cheesy, uplifting and worthy of its name and oft-repeated chorus “pray out loud.”  One may even, like me, have been planning on giving her permission to do so because if ever a song – and a time – was asking for it, it is this one. But, umm … no. On this single, Simpson shows … restraint. And a great deal of it. It’s completely baffling.

Simpson has never been a stellar interpreter of song, but the sheer lack of joy, enthusiasm and spirituality in her vocal is surprising.  Simpson was more convincing inviting us to “come on over” than she is imploring us to “pray out loud.”  Unfortunately, because the song is blessed with lyrics as original as “When you’re down / Don’t be afraid to pray out loud / Just close your eyes and let it out / Take all you fears and doubts / He’s listening right now / Don’t be afraid to pray out loud,” this severe lack of emotion is all that much more glaringly obvious.

It is likely that Simpson viewed this song as a means to connect with the same country demographic that propelled Carrie Underwood into stardom following the release of “Jesus Take the Wheel.”  However,  I’d be shocked if this single achieved a fraction of its predecessor’s success.

Songwriters: Jessica Simpson, Brett James, John Shanks

Grade: C

Listen: “Pray Out Loud”

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4 Comments

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4 Responses to Jessica Simpson, “Pray Out Loud”

  1. anonymousNo Gravatar

    & if every time Jessica puts forward a new song only to be comapred with Carrie Underwood she has no chance. If you put her up against most other blondes or women in the buisness she has a fair shot at making some changes.

    Give a fair assessment not biased & not full of ridicule. She is not Carrie & never will be & should not always be compared to her. Carrie stands alone right now against any of the new comers & your not dealing realistically & you knew that before you wrote this review.

    People also need to let this Carrie & Jessica & Tony thing not fogg the music. Jessica can sing but when you come in with a pre-determined idea you have no chance of getting past it.
    What Jessica needs is a honest break here.
    Thank god Willie blogged a week or so ago with his message & told Jess to look em in the eye & kiss as-. Only Willie can do that. I am thrilled with Kellie Pickler too. She made some lovely comments for Jessica. Dolly has come forward again too.
    Sure its the buisness but there are not many that have had all the BS Jessica has.

  2. Matthew 6:5-6: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

  3. vpNo Gravatar

    I must say I have never been a huge fan of hers, but when she I heard she was going to attempt to sing country music I cringed rightfully so, but I still found myself wishing she would succeed. There is always room for more women in country music, and young women at that, plus she has stumble on some tough times so you want to wish her the best.

    She has not impressed me at all with any of her work thus far. Like Lynn said this song she shows restraint where her others have been way over sang. I have not brought myself to listen to her whole cd, in hopes that one single may impress me. I’m trying to be optimistic with her but I’m not sure how long that can last.

  4. Erik NorthNo Gravatar

    This is just my observation, but when you have built your career up to this point on having the public image of a ditsy blonde, it is very difficult to convince people to take you seriously. That’s the problem that Jessica Simpson faces–having built that image up for so long, and then having to deconstruct it to be taken for real as a singer, country or otherwise.

    Another thing to consider is that the bar has been raised quite high by other female artists of the last forty years who never had MTV, CMT, or American Idol to launch their careers by, or got the kind of media attention that Jessica gets virtually every time she appears in public. A lot of female artists often struggled for years and years to hone their craft and their skills through near non-stop touring, recording, and the like. Jessica has an enormous amount to prove to me before I can ever take her for real in this particular line of work.