So this will be a double whammy for some... The album opener to end all album openers. 8 Acting Out Average: 8.12 Highest: 10 x 10 (@GhettoPrincess, @DJHazey, @Alouder98, @lalaclairi_, @WhenTheSunGoesDown, @constantino, @Penguin, @LA Hallucinations, @Totto, @Sally_Harper) Lowest: 4 x 3 (@coolforthesummer, @Shockbox, @Drawlight) The last song out on its way not to have received an 11, but the song on the rate with the most 10s: Acting Out. The album opener to destroy all other album openers. As we all know, Ashley's stance as an artist shifted heavily from her first era to the second and if the photoshoots, promotional material etc. suggested said change, it is Acting Out what confirms and solidifies that transition. Beginning with some sort of weird creepy theremin-sounding siren atop people conversating ("something to talk about...") you don't expect what's to come. Then you hear the three taps and the mundane-yet-eerie soundscape fades out. Five seconds and the orchestra begins. "Up above the surface I was just the perfect child / But underneath it all I was craving to be wild". Perfect. But if you lost a few strands of that weave, once the chorus starts they're all gone. LET ME OUT THIS CAGE. Despite all its imperfections, it is the perfect track to begin an album so related to personal change. I really should've upped my score to a 9. Acting Out never got a single treatment but it was released on 21 July 2009 as the fourth digital promotional single of Guilty Pleasure. WhenTheSunGoesDown echoes my words: "What a smash. What a way to open an album. When she goes “I’m suffocating… I can’t breathe…” and you know the chorus is about to punch you in the face… it’s just perfect." Mat.overboard gets in line: "THIS is how you open an album! It sounds like track number 1. I mean, you know when you go to a fancy restaurant and you have garlic bread as first course? Yep, that's what the 'Intro' from Headstrong tastes like to me. But Acting Out is like a pepper-ish tomato soup and you KNOW you'll have chicked breast stuffed with pear and gouda for the main course (It's Alright It's CHICKEN and MasPEARade - I'm sorry if you had to read this)" NOOOOOO. It's 1 AM, I can't be cackling like this. "A nice opener, but there is MUCH better to come", hints tylerc904. Put more praise on it, Lalala(Dare)clairi: "Perfect mission statement for the album! The chorus makes this a 10/10." "OK Ashley come through with that melodramatic, string-led intro! This reminds me of the cheesy-but-addictive rock-pop I’d only hear on radio in Cyprus, but never in the UK. This completely knocks" writes constantino, and mess. Ashley'd better re-release this as a Cyprus-only single and get that #1. GhettoPrincess would probably buy a copy: "I absolutely love the drama in this song. That intro, the dramatic lyrics and rock pop production. Vocally impressive too." It's actually her vocal performance I think could be improved in this song but it's great nonetheless. Sprockrooster finds it "a little bit darker than the previous album. I love it." "White girl #Rebel anthem" is sexercise's description. Why is it so accurate though? "Every mid-00s pop/rock song ever, but the middle 8 elevates it a bit" says iheartpoptarts, while headztrong admits to his hearing difficulties: "Terrible way to start an album." "I didn’t like this much when Ashlee Simpson did it, either." Repent, Plethorya. Let me stan her best song L.O.V.E. though. Shockbox is getting serious "Autotuney realness". No, it's used in an ~a r t i s t i q u e~ way. I should point out that Alouder98 originally handed their 11 to Acting Out, which would have made it jump one spot, and mentioned in his commentary that it "was the first song that I heard from her. And something inside told me this is gonna be your 11." Queen of intuition. DJHazey didn't give this his 11 but he could've and the commentary would have been appropriate. "And the parade of 10s begins, people. This does such a wonderful job of presenting her new (and improved sound) right down to the 'tap tap' from the conductor...like SHH Y'ALL IT'S TIME TO PAY ATTENTION! The pop-rock sound wastes no time making itself apparent and I live for every fucking second! Anybody who is wondering what the 'guilty pleasure' just has to hear Ashley say "it's time to get dirty" once and we're ready to go, because "life's to short just to do what you're told!" What an amazing statement anthem with Ashley clearly telling us that this album will be her 100% and she's holding NOTHING back. Seismographs are used to measures both earthquakes and the impact that pop choruses like this have; the amount of energy bursting at the seams here is immeasurable! LET ME OUT THIS CAGE! starts a sequences of events that I don't even remember half the time but I know I loved it all. Melodies like one we ride at "I'm gonna give you something to talk about" are drugs in sonic form. I wish I could bottle up the feeling of euphoria I had when I first heard this song and wondered if I was about to get 13 doses more of it."