Q - p.1163 stars out of 5
-- "[O]nly the sternest of hearts could not jig a little to A PUBLIC AFFAIRS's title track: so shiny, so brassy and so smart to sample Madonna..."
Personnel: Jessica Simpson (vocals); Lyle Workman, Paul Jackson, Jr. (guitar); David Mann (tenor saxophone); Abe Laboriel, Jr. (drums); Siedah Garrett, Tamyra Gray (background vocals).
With 2006's A PUBLIC AFFAIR, Jessica Simpson's first major studio release since her divorce from Nick Lachey, the singer/actress parlays her newfound single-superstar status into an energetic dance-oriented album. Clearly feeling a sense of liberation, the Texas-born performer evokes the carefree spirit of Madonna's "Holiday" on the funky, club-ready title track, while "B.O.Y." makes the most of a brief Cars sample to create a slinky synth-pop number. In addition to a lively cover of Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)," A PUBLIC AFFAIR includes the similarly 1980s-inspired "If You Were Mine," and even many of the disc's quieter moments (see "The Lover in Me") feature a beat-driven groove backing Simpson's emotive vocals. Opting for a sophisticated, night-on-the-town aesthetic over a more blatantly sexual look, Simpson stays true to her amiable model-next-door image, resulting in a highly entertaining set that has more in common with Kylie Minogue than Britney Spears.