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Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Nick Lachey is back in business. Currently, on his media tour, he will appear this evening on The Tonight Show and perform his new single, "What's Left of Me." The publicity blitz to engrain the song in the heads of Americans is going swimmingly because I for one, had his song stuck in my head all day long!

"What's Left of Me" is not a very good song (and sounds reminiscent of other Lachey-related music -- "This I Swear" & "I Do (Cherish You)") but it is seemingly honest with a catchy refrain. It is however, a great first single for this artist who is trying desperately to break back into the music scene with a solo career (his first attempt flopped with the release of his debut solo album, Soul-O). This new album (also entitled, What's Left of Me) has the potential for Lachey's second shot at a career re-birth. Poor guy has only smelled success after his career as a boy-band member (think 98 Degrees) from standing in the shadow of his not-so-ditzy soon-to-be-ex-wife and Dancing with the Stars younger brother (Drew Lachey).

Sadly, Lachey never did anything terribly profound as a musician with 98 Degrees or as a "solo" artist (if you blinked you missed Soul-O). 98 Degrees as a "boy band" wasn't even the most popular of the boy-band "big 3" -- 1.) *NSync, 2.) Backstreet Boys, 3.) 98 Degrees. Lachey's talent thus far has been mediocre at best but for some reason, this time around, critics aren't completely panning his new album. This album is a little different -- it's more contemporary, honest and mature and far less teeny-bopppery than before and seems to be working for him (so far). Maybe it has to considering Lachey seems to be capitalizing on the demise of his marriage. What a handy (and obvious) little marketing device, wouldn't you say?

Prior to the MTV reality-show, neither Lachey or Jessica Simpson was ever considered an "A" list celebrity. Simpson's career shot to super-stardom via the reality series, by playing "herself" -- a ditzy-Louis Vuitton-toting blonde who didn't know the difference between tuna and chicken, yet Lachey's career didn't seem to be going anywhere (unless you count the title, "Nick -- the guy married to Jessica"). Together, Lachey & Simpson generated a lot of publicity regarding the status of their marriage. Now that it's over, both seem to be holding their own in the media (and by this I mean their respective dating lives don't seem to be completely innundating the tabloids). Lachey, who seems determined to make a career for himself as a solo artist is doing whatever it takes to make a comeback...even if it means benefitting from his own "pain."

A few weeks ago, MTV aired "Making the Video: 'What's Left of Me'" (in which he outright exploited "The Newlyweds" watch it here) and a one hour special ("Nick Lackey: What's Left of Me") in which Lachey strategically spoke of the painful break-up of his marriage and the process of making the new album while getting his life back on track. Prior to each commercial break, viewers were left with a somewhat forlorn Lachey who looked to be on the verge of was a touch too much. If it's sympathy he wanted, he got it on some level: his music is being heard and Hollywood gossip mongers are listening to "What's Left of Me" in an attempt to read into what he may/may not feel for Simpson or their marriage. It's too soon to see if chatting up his emotional state regarding life-after-Jessica has benefitted his career. Stay tuned.


Mitch Glaser said...

The confluence of pop music, reality TV, and Hollywood gossip makes my head hurt.

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