To an extent, I suppose you could say the world doesn’t really need a new Hilary Duff record. After all, the former tween queen has been absent from the charts for almost a decade.
Those who grew up watching Lizzie McGuire are now sensible young adults, the former Disney starlets have metamorphosed into sexy sirens, and let’s be honest here; Duff isn’t exactly the best singer around. To put it bluntly, the 27-year-old popstar is kind of irrelevant in today’s world.
But you know what? Who cares? Breathe In. Breathe Out. is one good straightforward pop album – cohesive in its choices of songs, flirtatious and fun in its delivery and infectiously catchy in some parts.
The record is a bit of a guilty pleasure though – with awfully cheesy lyrics like “You side-affect me/ You’re turning me into confetti” (Confetti) and “You’re wishing you had someone like me/ I’m one in a million” (One In A Million), you’re likely to turn on the Private Session mode on Spotify.
At its best though, Breathe In. Breathe Out. presents sleek pop bangers with brief folksy flirtations that expertly toe the line between sexy and sophisticated.
The stomping hell-hath-no-fury Lies picks up where 2007’s underrated Dignity’s opening number Stranger left off. Thumping bass and ferocious horns accompany the Eastern flavour of the track, easily making it a standout. And on the festival-friendly Rebel Hearts, Duff channels Mumford & Sons’ soaring stadium sensibilities over David Guetta-esque dancefloor aesthetics.
However, nothing is quite as charming as Night Like This, a duet with Kendall Schmidt. It’s a likeable song with suggestive sentiments that will go down well with the Tinder-loving crowd.
Perhaps that’s all Duff needs right now to stay relevant – just being a likeable popstar who makes good pop music.