Lost Hit: Jessica Simpson’s “Forbidden Fruit” Should Have Been A Single

Mike Nied | February 21, 2020 1:50 am

In this franchise, we highlight album tracks that should have been released as singles.

Before Jessica Simpson became a New York Time’s best-selling author or the face of a billion dollar empire, she was one of pop’s preeminent It Girls. And she deserves more credit for that. The big-voiced diva is responsible for a veritable treasure trove of hits. She also has several hidden gems. One of the best of those happens to reside on her strongest album to date. Yes, I’m talking about 2003’s In This Skin, of course. After dabbling in everything from balladry to dance-pop on previous LPs, Jess certainly had a presence on the charts. But we rarely got a true glimpse at her personality.

That changed with the breathtaking popularity of Newlyweds. The MTV reality show introduced us to the bubbly star, quirks and all. Thankfully, fans had the opportunity to get better acquainted by listening to In This Skin. The soulful opus rocketed to popularity on the back of timeless hit “With You” and stayed there thanks to a pair of powerfully belted covers. However, the remainder of the tracklist shouldn’t be overlooked. Every song harkens back to a Golden Age when pop was lighter, brighter and more eclectic. Unsurprisingly, there are several lost hits in the mix.

But none deserve more attention than “Forbidden Fruit.” 2001’s Irresistible drew some unfavorable comparisons to the work of fellow icons Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. But this is a potent reminder that Jessica can do pop her own way. Produced by Greg Fitzgerald, the song is an otherworldly floor-filler held together by a beguiling string section and electrified beats. Even more notable are the sensual lyrics. “If you taste this fruit, forbidden to eat, you can drink this wine from a love so deep,” the siren breathily coos. “I dance for you. Let you come within. If you swear to me that it ain’t no sin.”

Sinning has never sounded sweeter or more tantalizing. If life was fair, Jessica would have released the song as a single and supported it with a video. Think of the possibilities. However, we cannot always get what we want. Instead, the pioneer of pop/makeup collaborations (justice for the edible Desserts line) opted to focus on “Angels” and “Take My Breath Away.” Both are stunning, but this would have been a chance for her to show the world just how adept she is at creating for the dance floor. Even still the (admittedly now dated but still sorely slept-on) song holds up as a favorite on the album. Revisit it below.

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