Producer: Jermaine Dupri
After belting her way into the late '90s TRL pop game, America's sweetheart Jessica Simpson was ready to get kinda sorta sexy and downright "urban" on her sophomore album, Irresistible. The lead single/title track was created by Swedish pop producers Anders Bagge and Arnthor Birgisson in collaboration with "Genie In A Bottle" songwriter Pamela Sheyne, and it fell firmly in the school of stuttering, robotic mid-tempo R&B practiced by post-Timbaland hitmakers like Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs and Rodney Jerkins.
In the video, she wore leather pants and awkwardly attempted to do choreographed dancing for the first time. Everything seemed a bit forced. The single was an overhyped, middling hit that stalled out at #15 on the Hot 100. Jermaine Dupri's remix, featuring a new beat and a verse from 14-year-old Bow Wow, didn't change the song's fate, but it did bring some gimmicky redemption to the whole affair by slowing things down and smoothing things out.
In typical Dupri fashion, it reappropriated a well known hip-hop beat, the Club Nouveau-sampling classic "I Got 5 On It" by Oakland duo Luniz, throwing in some 808s and the "Jungle Boogie" horn stabs for good measure. Keep in mind this is only a year and a half after Puff Daddy sampled the Luniz hit on his schlocky R. Kelly duet "Satisfy You," so "Irresistible" was really the last swig on a backwash-filled sample soda at this point. But it still tasted kinda sweet.
Truth be told, "Irresistible" may be most notable because Ms. Simpson was the first, and to this day, the only white artist to get the coveted So So Def remix treatment. Unfortunately, her flirtation with R&B was brief, retreating to cover songs, dance pop and country music after this first of many half-hearted attempts to find her sound. —Brendan Frederick