On “I Can’t Hate You Anymore” the recently divorced Lachey still hurts but rejects bitterness. Similarly, “What’s Left of Me” refuses to wallow in sorrow, hopeful that someone (God?) will make him whole again. “Beautiful” affirms the value of a girl tempted to sell her soul under the lights, while “On Your Own” offers Christ-like promises of unconditional love, healing and safety (“[When] you’re cold and barely breathing I will find you and carry you back home … I won’t forsake you”). That tone continues with pledges of romantic devotion on “You’re Not Alone” (“You’re not fighting on your own/On the day the darkness comes I’ll find you, save you”) and “Run to Me.” This contemplative artist realizes he must “be the best man I can be … finding solace where I stand” (“Resolution”) and “accept the things I cannot understand” (“Ghosts”). The liner notes thank God and trust in His plan despite confusion.
The spirit of “I Do It for You” is one of payback (“I want you to burn … I want you to bleed and see how it feels/I want you to beg/I want you to crawl”).
In 2003 he let MTV’s reality show Newlyweds broadcast the minutiae of his early marriage to Jessica Simpson. The cuddling. The spats. The dumb remarks that made Jessica a walking blond joke. So in the interest of closure, What’s Left of Me follows the couple’s equally overexposed breakup with hints of more soul-baring. It delivers. But instead of angrily assigning blame, Nick is surprisingly gracious and optimistic. A decent pop effort.