In This Skin is the third studio album by American recording artist Jessica Simpson. The album was released in 2003 by Columbia Records. It was re-released in March 2004 with three new songs. The album was a huge success in North America, reaching number 2 in the United States and being certified triple platinum.[1] In This Skin went on to become the 35th best selling album of 2004 in the US, and has sold over 7 million copies worldwide.[2] The album was ranked number 153 on the list of the top-selling albums of the 2000s by Billboard magazine.[3]


After the release of her 2001 album Irresistible, Simpson stated she wanted to write songs for her third record. In an interview by MTV in October 2002, Lachey, her then husband, revealed that she is back in the studio, working on a new record. He said "she's finally writing her own music, which I've told her she could do forever but she's been shy about stepping out there and doing it. But she's an incredible writer, and she's doing stuff that's really from the heart". About the album's sound, he said "It's a much more organic record and it's more true to herself", he continued saying "There's all live instrumentation and it's very musical as opposed to the pop thing that was happening before for her. I think she finally feels like this is her record and her chance to do exactly what she wants."[4] In March 2003, Simpson revealed that her third album would be called In This Skin.[5]


Script error Originally, the album was planned to be primarily produced by American female rapper Missy Elliott, while the sole featured appearance was to be made by Nick Lachey.[6] However, the pair's contributions never made the final cut of the album. "Sweetest Sin", the album's first single was written by Diane Warren and it's about losing her virginity.[7] MTV regarded the song as a "sweet track".[8] About the idea of her second single, "With You", Simpson said "it's cool for me just because it's my personality [...] Nick loves me with nothing but a T-shirt on so that's where the song idea came from."[9] The cover "Take My Breath Away" is Simpson and Lachey's love theme, she said "because it was playing the first time Nick kissed me".[10] "I've been obsessed with 'Take My Breath Away' for a very long time", she said. Nick Lachey helped produce the vocals for both of her cover songs. Another album's song is Angels, which was a tough session, Simpson said, because she had to do both songs in one day. Lachey helped her get in the right mood, she said, by keeping his hand in her back pocket "and being right there" during the recording session.[11]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars11px11px11px11px[1]
Entertainment WeeklyC-[12]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars11px11px11px11px[13]
Slant Magazine2.5/5 stars11px11px11px11px[14]
Stylus MagazineD+[15]

Initial critical response to In This Skin was generally negative. Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine gave the album 2.5 stars and called lead single "Sweetest Sin" a "catchy tune" but a "glossy, ever-so-slightly over-produced affair. And the same can be said for the entire album, which is weighed down by soggy, overwrought pop ballads that find Simpson repeatedly declaring her devotion to Lachey. 'My Way Home' contains one, bizarre 15-second display of Simpson's lung capacity and a Middle Eastern ether so faint and wispy it virtually evaporates beneath the track's slick production. In This Skin contains a few surprises, though, including 'Forbidden Fruit', a track unabashedly inspired by Madonna's 'Music', and 'Loving You', a seductively contrived reminder that, with teen pop long dead, Simpson should be aiming to recapture the club audience that helped launch her career with 'I Wanna Love You Forever'."[14]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic gave the album 2.5 stars as well as a negative review, and wrote: "Now, for her third album, In This Skin, she tones down the trashy club beats and image, staying within the contemporary dance-pop realm while inching toward the middle-of-the-road diva that she's always yearned to be. The problem with In This Skin is that its heart is in the mature middle of the road but its sound is still pitched too young, making this a record that satisfies neither audience."[1] Jon Caramanica of Rolling Stone gave the album 2 stars and pointed out Simpson's training as a gospel vocalist and that she "long ago learned subtlety was at direct odds with testifying. Judging by Skin, her third album, it's a lesson she's still working through. Her powerful voice is done a disservice by insipid songwriting and arrangements — as on the loathsome club track 'Forbidden Fruit' and the uncomfortably stately ballad 'You Don't Have to Let Go' — that consistently get in the way of her pipes."[13]

Commercial performance

It was during the release of this album that Simpson had become a household name, due in part to her reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. At first, In This Skin did not perform very well on the charts, as it debuted at #10 with 64,000 copies and quickly sank to the bottom of the Billboard 200 albums chart. In five months, the album had sold just 565,000 copies.[16] However, sales began to steadily increase during the Holiday season in 2003. By that point, Simpson had been receiving huge attention from the media for her antics on Newlyweds, and because of that radio stations warmly welcomed her second single, "With You", which eventually brought the album back into the top twenty on the Billboard charts. Because of this, Columbia Records decided to re-release In This Skin with several new tracks. With "With You" on the top of the radio charts in February 2004, Simpson released her third single, "Take My Breath Away", as the first single from the new re-release. On March 20, 2004, the re-release worked as In This Skin jumped from 16 to 2 selling 159,500 copies in that week, seeing a 205% increase in sales.[17] It was her highest first week sales at the time, beating the sales of her sophomore album Irresistible, which debuted at number six with 120,000 copies.[17] The album stayed in the top ten for eight non-consecutive weeks and stayed in the Top 100 for sixty-one weeks. It stayed in the Billboard 200 for 75 weeks.[18] In December 2004, In This Skin was certified 3× Multi Platinum by the RIAA for sales more than 3 million copies only in U.S.[19][20] The album was ranked #14 in Billboard's year-end albums chart of 2004.[21]

In Australia, April 4, the album debuted at #40. In peaked at #13 in its seventh week, becoming Simpson's highest album peak in Australia to date. In This Skin stayed in the top 50 for 27 weeks. The album was later certified Platinum by the ARIA. In Ireland, In This Skin debuted at #58. In its second week fell to #75 and in its fourth week the album rose to peak at #27. The album remained in the top 75 for 8 weeks.[22] In the UK, the album debuted at #36, the same peak of her first album Sweet Kisses. It remained in the top 75 for 5 weeks. In Canada, the album reached number twenty-one and was later certified Gold by the CRIA. In Switzerland, no single was released to promote the album, but it debuted at #78 and remained in the chart for three weeks (her previous albums Sweet Kisses and Irresistible reached #5 and #15 there, respectively). The album peaked at #4 in Venezuela, beating the peak of Irresistible, which reached number 10. In This Skin was the 35th best selling album of 2004 and has sold 7 million copies worldwide.[2][23]


Script error

"Sweetest Sin" was released as the lead single from In This Skin. The music video, directed by Dean Paraskavopoulos,[24] starts with black-and-white shots of Simpson dancing and looking at viewers. It cuts to Simpson swaying on a beach, and embracing Nick Lachey underneath a waterfall on the beach. Further scenes are presented, such as one in which Simpson lies on a bed by herself. The video continues with intercut footage of the previous scenes, until the final seconds of the song, when Simpson is joined by her husband, in which they move on their bed on the beach. The video ends when Lachey disappears, leaving the singer alone. "With You" was released as the album's second single on September 16, 2003. The song received positive reviews from critics. Enjoyed more success, reaching at top ten on Australia and UK and top-twenty on Ireland, Norway and United States. The single was her first number one in Top 40 Mainstream chart. Later was certified Gold in US and Platinum on Australia. The video of the song was released as a DVD single. Simpson received one and only MTV Europe Music Award nomination for Best Female, enjoying her commercial success outside America. It received two MTV Video Music Award nominations for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video.[25][26]


Jessica Simpson Miami

Simpson arriving at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.

Simpson performed "Sweetest Sin" live at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[27] The performance, dedicated to Lachey, was recorded and later broadcast on the second season of Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica.[28] "With You" was also performed on American late-night show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and American morning show Live with Regis and Kelly on October 17 and October 23, 2003. She also gave a memorable performance of "With You"/"Angels" at 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. The promotion of "Angels" by Simpson was extensive; she sang a Spanglish duet of the song with Spanish singer David Bisbal at the 2004 Latin Grammy Awards, performed it on VH1 Divas 2004 and on shows like Late Show with David Letterman and The Early Show. She later performed it during the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars.

The Reality Tour

The Reality Tour to promote In This Skin was the second concert tour by Jessica Simpson. While promoting the re-release of her album, Simpson stated in several interviews the possibility of a tour, wanting to break away from filming her TV series and connect with her fans. The tour was officially announced in May 2004 through various media outlets,[29] with sponsorship from Ice Breakers[30] and Proactiv Solution.[31] Due to the popularity of the album, Simpson would play in arenas and amphitheatres, in contrast to her first tour performing in malls and festivals. With the outing, the singer's states she was happy to take a break from cameras following her every moves. With the success of the TV show, Simpson designed the tour as if the audience were watching her on television.

During an interview with the Associated Press, the singer said she wanted the concerts to focus on her music and her personality.[32] Onstage, Simpson was joined by a seven-piece band, with no dancers or choreography for the show. Simpson would perform songs from her three current albums, while providing anecdotes about her life and the songs. Unseen footage from her reality series and variety show (titled The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour) were included in the show as well. Each night, the singer dedicated "I Have Loved You" to the American armed forces and conducted a Q&A session with contest winners.[33]

Before the tour commenced, Simpson performed at several radio-sponsored music festivals including Your Show,[34] Wango Tango,[35] Summer Music Mania,[36] Zootopia,[37] Kiss Concert,[38] and Play Safe in the Park.[39]

The excursion began in New Orleans in June. It traveled the country over the next two months, visiting over 30 cities, ending August 1 in Paso Robles. Despite early reports of poor ticket sales,[40] Simpson's tour became one of the biggest summer tours in North America, prompting the singer to add an additional leg for the U.S.[41] Eleven concerts were planned for September and October. To date, the tour serves as Simpson's last major concert tour. The tour ranked 87th on Pollstar's "Top 100 Tours 2004", earning over seven million dollars.[42]

Track listing

1."Sweetest Sin"Diane WarrenRic Wake, Richie Jones[a]3:14
2."With You"Jessica Simpson, Andy Marvel, billymannbillymann, Marvel3:12
3."My Way Home"Simpson, Damon Elliott, Romeo AntonioElliott3:13
4."I Have Loved You"Holly Lamar, Greg Barnhill, Denise RichLamar, Barnhill, David Munk[b], Lee Mars[b]4:45
5."Forbidden Fruit"Simpson, Greg Fitzgerald, Thomas NicholsFitzgerald3:30
6."Everyday See You"Simpson, Andrew Williams, Franne Golde, Kasia LivingstonWilliams, Golde, Livingston4:18
7."Underneath"Simpson, Matthew Gerrard, Trina HarmonKeith Thomas4:02
8."You Don't Have to Let Go"Simpson, Jason Deere, HarmonHarmon3:43
9."Loving You"Simpson, Elliott, Craig YoungElliott3:31
10."In This Skin"Simpson, Rob Fusari, HarmonFusari4:18
11."Be"Simpson, Williams, Golde, LivingstonWilliams, Golde, Livingston4:11


2."With You"
  • billymann
  • Marvel
3."Take My Breath Away"billymann3:15
4."My Way Home"
5."Sweetest Sin"Diane Warren
6."I Have Loved You"
  • Lamar
  • Barnhill
  • David Munk[b]
  • Lee Mars[b]
7."Forbidden Fruit"
8."Everyday See You"
  • Williams
  • Golde
  • Livingston
10."You Don't Have to Let Go"
11."Loving You"
  • Simpson
  • Elliott
  • Craig Young
12."In This Skin"
  • Simpson
  • Williams
  • Golde
  • Livingston
  • Williams
  • Golde
  • Livingston
14."With You" (acoustic version) (bonus track)
  • Simpson
  • Marvel
  • billymann
  • Track listing and credits from album booklet.
  • ^a signifies additional producer
  • ^b signifies vocal producer

Charts and certifications

Chart (2004) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[43] 13
Canadian Albums Chart 45
French Albums Chart[44] 117
Irish Albums Chart[45] 27
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart[46] 89
New Zealand Albums Chart[47] 41
Scottish Albums (OCC)[48] 35
Swiss Albums Chart[49] 78
UK Albums Chart[50] 36
U.S. Billboard 200[51] 2
U.S. Top Internet Albums 3

Year-end charts

Chart (2004) Rank
US Billboard 200[52] 14
Australian Albums Chart[53] 50


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[54] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[55] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RIANZ)[47] Gold 7,500
United States (RIAA)[56] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Credits and personnel

  • J.D. Andrew – digital editing, engineer
  • Jim Annunziato – assistant engineer, mixing assistant
  • Romeo Antonio – composer, electric guitar
  • Rich Balmer – engineer
  • Greg Barnhill – composer, producer
  • Charlie Bisharat – violin
  • Dan Bucchi – mixing assistant
  • Pat Buchanan – electric guitar
  • Julian Bunetta – engineer, string arrangements, strings
  • Darryl Bush – production coordination
  • John Catchings – cello
  • Earl Cohen – tracking
  • J.T. Corenflos – electric guitar
  • Chad Cromwell – drums
  • Jason Deere – composer
  • Neil Devor – engineer
  • Tony Duran – photography
  • Damon Elliott – composer, keyboards, percussion, producer, programming
  • Greg Fitzgerald – composer, producer
  • Rob Fusari – composer, producer
  • Matthew Gerrard – composer
  • James Ginnetti – keyboards
  • Chris Goercke – acoustic guitar
  • Franne Golde – composer, piano, producer, vocals, background vocals
  • Kara DioGuardi – background vocals
  • Trina Harmon – composer, piano, producer, string arrangements, strings
  • Carlos Henderson – bass
  • Dan Hetzel – digital editing, engineer, mixing
  • Hooshik – collage
  • Jun Ishizeki – assistant engineer
  • Richie Jones – producer, programming
  • Jennifer Karr – background vocals
  • Anthony Kilhoffer – assistant engineer
  • Brendan Kuntz – assistant engineer, mixing assistant
  • Eric Kupper – acoustic guitar, keyboards
  • Holly Lamar – composer, producer
  • Victor Lawrence – cello
  • Kasia Livingston – composer, producer, background vocals
  • MadDog – arranger, producer, programming
  • Richard Madenfort – acoustic guitar, keyboards, piano
  • Billy Mann – arranger, composer, drum programming, engineer, electric guitar, producer
  • Lee Mars – mixing, vocal producer
  • Rick Marty – electric guitar
  • Andy Marvel – arranger, composer, drum programming, engineer, midi guitar, keyboard programming, producer
  • Tony Maserati – mixing
  • Dave Matthews – engineer
  • Mary Maurer – art direction
  • Bart Migal – tracking
  • Nick Moroch – acoustic guitar
  • Pablo Munguia – engineer, vocal engineer
  • David Munk – vocal producer
  • Tom Nichols – composer
  • Dave Pensado – mixing
  • Alison Prestwood – bass
  • Greg Price – assistant engineer
  • Joseph Quevedo – drums, percussion
  • Denise Rich – composer
  • Mark Russell – production coordination
  • Dave Scheuer – digital editing, engineer
  • Jaime Sickora – engineer, vocal engineer
  • Jessica Simpson – composer, primary artist, vocals
  • Matt Snedecor – mixing assistant
  • Michael Spriggs – acoustic guitar
  • Keith Thomas – arranger, bass, keyboards, mixing, producer, programming
  • Luz Vasquez – assistant engineer, mixing assistant
  • John LeVasseur – engineer, Mellotron
  • Rick Wake – producer
  • Diane Warren – composer
  • Bill Whittington – mixing
  • Andrew Williams – engineer, instrumentation, producer
  • Ethan Willoughby – assistant
  • Patrick Woodward – mixing
  • Chris Yoakum – digital editing, MIDI technician
  • Craig Young – composer
  • Jonathan Yudkin – strings


Release history

Country Date Edition Label Format Catalog Ref.
United States August 19, 2003 Standard Columbia CD 86560 [58]
March 2, 2004 Collector's [59]
United Kingdom April 19, 2004 Standard 512499000 [60]
Australia September 4, 2004 5124399000 [61]


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