Ashlee Simpson’s 2004 debut album, Autobiography, arrived in the wake of big sister Jessica’s massive cross-media fame. Several of the album's tracks—especially “Shadow”—touch on the siblings’ conflicted relationship in explicit terms. More importantly, Ashlee emerged as an artist in her own right with these tracks, cowriting all of the material and staking out a feisty rock sound distinct from Jessica’s dance/pop approach. In the manner of music by Alanis Morissette, P!nk, and Avril Lavigne, Autobiography is infused with plenty of defiant yet vulnerable attitude. Simpson lays down the law to a confused boyfriend in “Love Me for Me,” indulges in kinky scenarios in “La La,” and comes clean about her freewheeling habits in the title tune. Whether she’s putting the moves on a crush (“Surrender”), getting steamy with a main squeeze (“Unreachable”), or trying to hang on to a love gone wrong (“Undiscovered”), Ashlee’s rough-edged coo sounds confident amid the spiky guitars and buoyant melodies that dominate here. A surprisingly personal work, Autobiography lets Ashlee grab the mic and tell her side of the Simpson saga.

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