Hilary Duff's third album, Dignity, begins to reveal that at least some substance might remain in the human who was once Lizzie McGuire. Duff has moved away from the tween-pop of her past, leaving behind peers like Natasha Bedingfield, Ashlee Simpson and the even-more-soulless Kelly Clarkson, embedding herself fully in the electro-pop genre. And the result is not as horrific as one might expect.
The first single, "With Love" (also the theme song to her new perfume line with the same name), is a bubbly, upbeat and catchy ditty incorporating some strangely self-hating lyrics, which most likely came from her pathetic-excuse-of-a-human ex-boyfriend (Joel Madden of Good Charlotte). The rest of Dignity is cute, but most of the songs blend together, ultimately sounding forgettable.
But the actual content of the album is not what's important. What is important about the album is that it is a deliberate first step away from Disney and innocence. Duff is beginning to understand that she can be sexy and mysterious, and not lose fans-a fact that her ex-pal Lindsay Lohan learned some time back. Dignity, then, stands where Justin Timberlake's Justified once stood, in some strange no-man's-land between bubblegum pop and actual music.
Soon enough, Duff will be partying with Paris Hilton and making sex tapes of her own. Or, at the very least, she will release another album in two years (ironically, when she's 21), which will solidify her transition into adulthood. One can only hope, then, that such an album will be as good as Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds or Nelly Furtado's Loose.
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