As a fan of Hilary Duff since she portrayed Lizzie McGuire of the Disney channel, I was super duper excited for her latest album Breathe In. Breathe Out. after her 8 year album break. Duff released two promising pop singles late last year that lamented her return to music. This album showcases a shift for Duff, as she moves towards the electro-pop style that is ever-present in the contemporary pop scene.
The introductory track Sparks is the best track on the album and was also the first released single. It’s fun and catchy with an underground club vibe. The next track My Kind is another good track that has playful melodic hook. However, most of the songs on this album are quite simply brainless pop tracks. Confetti is corny and has a really uninspired metaphor. Most of the songs on the album are repetitive club hits that don’t reach great bass drop heights. The two singles she released late last year All About You and Chasing The Sun were a lot better than most of the tracks on this album. Breathe In. Breathe Out. is an attempt to cash in on the success on the electro-pop genre that has made it big in 2015. With this step, Duff has lost her musical diversity.
While Duff’s previous tracks were always lyrically simple, the addition of the electro vibe takes away all saving graces from her music. I always found that Duff’s previous work was catchy pop music that emulated all that the early 2000s were – soft rock pop with variety in musical styles. Her style was punchy in some songs, and soft and vulnerable in others. In this album, Duff turns to a club style but fails in making it club enough for the tracks to be breakthrough hits.
What this album ultimately lacks is a complex theme that explores and expands throughout the album. In her mature years, Duff is no longer able to explore her adolescent angst and finding herself within her music. With maturity, Duff has somehow gone backwards lyrically to an album with no emotional exploration. Due to my high hopes for this album, the tracks within Breathe In. Breathe Out. are very disappointing. This album is too pop to be a club hit and that will be the reason it won’t hit the big time.