Ashlee Simpson’s ‘L.O.V.E': #TBT Feel Good Song
Once upon a time, Jessica Simpson’s little sister Ashlee was everywhere. Her songs were getting heavy rotation on the radio, her infamous Saturday Night Live lip-syncing was the talk of the town, and The Ashlee Simpson Show was, for whatever reason, the most addictive thing to grace our screens in years. That was back when people still watched TV on TV—these days, the younger Simpson’s presence is far less ubiquitous. So, perhaps it’s time for a bit of a refresher on the starlet by means of a song.
“L.O.V.E” was one of Simpson’s bigger hits, appearing on her second studio album I Am Me. A middle school classmate of mine thought that the chorus of this song (which is just Ashlee repeating “L-O- V-E”) was her saying “‘Ello, Evee!” in a British accent. That’s essential knowledge here. Secondly, Missy Elliott remixed the song into a version that charted No. 1 in Singapore. Thirdly, this song is audio crack. (Be warned that hitting play will lead to the track engulfing your whole day.)
In the video, Simpson is essentially upset that her boyfriend doesn’t call her ("on the te-le-phone") and she doesn’t know “where the hell he goes.” The song is an anthem for the power of girlfriends, how she’s “Got [her] own money,” doesn’t need a man, etc. She also really, really wants everyone to say that they’ll be her “girls for life,” so all of this L-O- V-E is actually for her friends, not Ryan Cabrera, the porcupine-haired singer who was (or played?) her boyfriend on her show. (Cabrera also apparently dated Audrina Patridge of The Hills and Tess Taylor of Pretty Wild.)
Premiered on TRL, the video—this was back when MTV still slightly cared about music—starts out with a murky-eyed Simpson opening her flip phone, seeing an incoming call from her presumed boyfriend, and then tossing the phone into her toilet. (Let it be known that this is: not great for sustainability, a bit of an overreaction, and a really fun chore for whoever realizes that the thing cannot get flushed down.)
The clip mostly shows Simpson at a house party dancing around with herself, other girls, and also a lot of boys. She does the robot at one point which is pretty bold, and apparently, they had even planned a scene in which Simpson cuts the shirt off of a guy with a samurai sword, but they didn’t have time to film it.
Damn shame, really.
The Pop Princesses of 2003: