Lachey loses what's left of him

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Lachey loses what's left of him
Posted May 15, 2006

Nick Lachey’s “What’s Left of Me” hit stores last week and the title track, “What’s Left of Me,” made it to No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album hasn’t made it to the Billboard 100 and it doesn’t sound like it will be there any time soon.

Nick relies on his pop background with “What’s Left of Me,” but adds a level of emotion to his lyrics that’s typically lacking in most pop albums.

The album approaches the fine line between emo and soft-pop, but songs like “I Do It For You” and “Everywhere But Here,” with its acoustic intro and lyrical content, are flat-out ventures into the emo genre. His attempts aren’t that bad; but then again, its still emo. The lyrics are predictable and the musical arrangements are rehashes of many emo songs out there.

Despite the predictable emo lyrics, they’re new for Lachey because they show a side of him that hasn’t been seen or heard in his previous albums. His previous solo attempt, “SoulO,” was altogether pointless. “What’s Left of Me” at the very least sounds somewhat sincere; it also doesn’t sound like it was hurried.

It would be hard to say that this is much of an improvement for Lachey. Compared to his previous solo album and 98 Degrees material, “What’s Left of Me” sounds good the first time through; Lachey’s voice is strong enough to carry the album, but there’s no replay value.

Nick’s breakup with Jessica was a curse and a blessing. Sure, it fueled him to make this album, but it sounds a bit desperate and backhanded. With lyrics like “You’re not the person that you used to be / the one I want who wanted me,” and “I can’t hate you anymore,” it’s hard to imagine that Nick has completely straightened out all of his thoughts about the breakup.

Some songs like “Outside Looking In,” with lyrics “Wasted moments / trying to be someone I never wanted to be for you,” make it seem like Lachey is realizing that he wasn’t happy in the relationship to begin with. Then again, in “On Your Own,” he says he won’t forsake the only love he ever knew, so maybe he’s just confused.

But the album does back up what he’s been saying to the press since the breakup. Lachey has been quoted saying that he would marry Jessica all over again, and in his song “Shades of Blue,” he sings “I will wait for you.”

Then again, in typical emo fashion, Nick puts the hurt into “I Do it for You” with lines like “I want you to burn / I want you to steal / I want you to bleed.”

His emotions are all over the place, and it’s not helping the album.

This is a strong attempt by Nick to break away from his haunting boy band past, but in the end, he relies too heavily on cheesy lyrics and fluffed up pop.

This is an album for all the Nick Lachey lovers out there, all seven of them.

Eric Iberri can be reached at eiberri@ulv.edu.