Hilary Duff has had to do a lot of rethinking about her career in 2015. In recent interviews she’s alluded to knowing her place in the pop culture cannon (some would call her a has-been). Unfortunately this “rethinking” has happened in the midst of her latest album campaign for Breathe In, Breathe Out. After two failed singles, the Duff decided to say screw it, put out “Sparks”, became a Tinder spokeswoman and dyed her hair teal. In other words, she stopped caring. And won my heart again.
You see, throughout the wreckage of “Chasing the Sun” and other weird performances, Hilary has come across as nothing but sincere and genuine in her interviews. Her album Breathe In, Breathe Out picks up eight years after Dignity left off. Someone on the ever-so amazing gossip site Oh No They DIdn’t said this is her Blackout. I disagree, but it is a really nice pop album.
And it’s clearly for the fans who have stood by her for years of walking posts and years of no music or movies. In the meantime, Hilary has become a mother, gotten divorced, learned to accept her Lizzie McGuire background and has become the wonderfully relatable cool mom. She’s probably someone I would have coffee with and scream “Spill that teaaa, hunty!” with. (I can visualize this happening. Hilary is that real).
Breathe In, Breathe Out is wonderfully low-key in terms of pop albums. There’s nothing too hard to take in. The lyrics are not overly intellectual. The beats aren’t too bombastic. “One In A Million” might be the best song she’s ever recorded, and yes, she has some songs about her divorce. Even Disney child stars have setbacks. (Wait, that’s every Disney child star)
The album is a fun, electropop fare that doesn’t chase trends. It’s cute, frothy bubblegum pop and the perfect suit for Hilary’s light voice. Other key standouts for me are “My Kind” and “Confetti”–the first four tracks are basically gold. It makes me wonder what Hilary could do with an actual budget. Hilary created the template of Disney pop star that nearly every girl follows now: from Demi Lovato to Selena Gomez, every girl has gone through the machine that the Duff infiltrated.
Surprisingly, the album is currently at number one on iTunes. The album has had very little promotion from Hilary and her label; in a recent interview she said that she doesn’t care enough about being the biggest star in pop music anymore. She wants a personal life. She also wants to act. So, instead, she would rather release the album and let fans listen and enjoy on their own. In the meantime, she is planning a small tour of “intimate venues” starting in January. If that doesn’t work out, there’s always the opportunity to start a lifestyle blog or create a company like Jessica Alba did.
No matter, you should buy this album. It’s lovely pop music and for a limited it’s only $8 on Amazon. You can also buy a limited number of Fanjoy gift bundles. Hilary will include a personal note for you if you do.
Breathe In, Breathe Out is the little album that could and it’s a great follow up to Dignity. It’s mature, it’s sexy and it shows a human side to Hilary that Disney did their best to block out. Go buy it and thank me later.