With the release of her sixth studio album, Simpson attempted to shift into the country music genre.
The project was met harshly by critics, and failed to achieve commercial success.
Mottola wanted Simpson to embrace an "anti-sex appeal" image while promoting the record, as a contrast to highly successful artists Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
In a July 2001 interview with Coventry Newspapers, Simpson explained "I recorded [Sweet Kisses] when I was seventeen years old and I'm twenty-one [this month] so there is four years of growth involved." Though the album's first week sales were nearly double that of her previous effort, Irresistible failed to match the success of her debut album; the record earned a gold certification from the RIAA for sales of 500,000 copies.
It was later announced that Simpson had parted ways with Columbia, and signed a new recording contract with Epic Records to distribute her fifth studio album. Aside from her musical pursuits, she launched The Jessica Simpson Collection in 2005, a fashion line of clothing and other items.