By Taylor Toothman
I’m so embarrassed. I like Hilary Duff. Well, maybe I should say “like.” I finally tolerate her. She and her Lohanesque pop peers nearly had me turned off to music completely, but I’m a big fan of multiple chances. Although Lindsay Lohan and several others botched theirs, and although I knew there was a possibility that my musically sensitive ears would bleed, I decided to try. And, lo and behold, Duff’s fifth (!) album Dignity isn’t all that bad. Dare I say it, I even put a few songs on my iPod.
Track one, “Stranger”, is eh. It begins with an Indian synthesizer, not my preference. And poor Hilary still sounds fifteen, not a good sign. Still I press on.
The title track, “Dignity”, is better. But catchy and bimbo-bashing as it is, it probably would’ve been better sung by an indie artist who didn’t actually “lose their dignity in the Hollywood Hills, and didn’t actually make the top teen celebrity salaries list.
With track three, Hilary wants her special someone to tell her when she’s being stupid, but “with love.” Easily skipped over.
Hilary sings about a recurring woman illness, falling for the hot but stalker-looking older man in “Danger”. With an eerie ABBA-ish background, I half expected a disco ball to drop from my ceiling.
From the beginning of track five, “Gypsy Woman”, the synths sound like whiny children. I couldn’t make it past twenty seconds. Sorry.
Six, “Never Stop”, is a step toward a fun album sound. Reminiscent of ’80s Duran Duran, it’s head-bobbing and nauseatingly fun. I actually like it. I can’t believe it.
“No Work, All Play” is the same four notes over and over of Hilary bashing people whose lives are “one big high.” No thanks.
Oh no, another fun song. With “Between You & Me”, I almost forgot I was listening to Hilary Duff. Plus, little Lizzie McGuire is trying to grow up by swearing (a pushy boy is “trying to get so damn near me”), something her 8-year old fan base’s parents might not appreciate.
The “bum bum bums” on track nine, “Dreamer”, are still in my head. I’m assuming she’s politely asking the paparazzi to stop stalking her with lines like “I brush my teeth and feed my dog, isn’t that thrilling.” At least she doesn’t punch and run over them in her car like some people I won’t mention cough Linsday Lohan cough cough.
“Happy” is slow and creepy, but good for her that she’s over her jerk boyfriend.
“Burned” is the pity-me-I’m-a-lonely-millionaire-starlet song I’ve been dreading.
Ack, what is this? Another semi-listenable song? “Outside of You” is my new “closet song”, like when Lorelai Gilmore of the “Gilmore Girls” hides her Barry Manilow greatest hits cd under her car seat for when she’s alone. This is my “Copacabana.”
Track 13, “I Wish.” Never mind, I don’t like her again. Stop trying to make me feel bad for you, Hilary. “I wish” I had your money.
The last track, “Play With Fire”, is interesting. She bashes boys and wants to rumble with girls because she’s on fire and is so sexy no one can stand it, but then says “love me love me”. So she’s a tease. I’m so confused. All in all, Hilary’s “Dignity” is maintained with an OK attempt. But I’m still weirded out by how in the world she’s so popular.