Jessica Simpson’s new single, ”Come On Over,” just became her first track to hit Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. And guess what? It’s actually not bad. It seemed like Simpson’s pop culture moment had passed, and that even those who continue to admire her looks (but not her talent) didn’t number enough to give her a much-needed hit on any chart — pop or otherwise. But it’s foolish to underestimate the open ears and minds of the country-music audience; if any group will forgive her appearance in the dorky Dukes of Hazzard movie and its accompanying Willie Nelson torture video, it’s the genre’s generous fans.
The canny, zippy song is up-tempo twaddle about how Jessica wants you to drop everything and come on over to love her, backed by instruments that sound almost like a real fiddle and pedal steel guitar. The song was co-written — yes, Simpson gets a songwriting credit — by Rachel Proctor, who’s co-penned terrific songs like Martina McBride’s 2002 hit ”Where Would You Be,” and it fits comfortably in a country-radio landscape filled with sugary Sugarland and tart Ashton Shepherd. Simpson’s new album isn’t out until the fall; could she actually become more than a one-hit country wonder?