Hilary Erhard Duff was born on September 28, 1987 in Houston, Texas. Her first major acting role was in the 1998 movie ‘Casper Meets Wendy’. She went on to star in the Disney Channel show ‘Lizzie McGuire’ from 2001-2004. Her debut album was 2002’s SANTA CLAUS LANE. In 2003 and 2004 she put out pop albums. Here, I will be reviewing MOST WANTED: THE COLLECTOR’S SIGNATURE EDITION (2005, Hollywood Records), which comes with some cool pics in a special box. In the liner notes Hilary shares: “I want to dedicate this ultimate collection to you, my fans all around the world! I feel so blessed and supported by you. No matter where I am, it always feels like home”.
Starting things off is ‘Wake Up’ an upbeat pop song written by Dead Executives and Hilary. It offers these words of commentary on what it’s like to be a celebrity: “People all around you everywhere that you go/People all around you/They don’t really know you/Everybody’s watching you like you’re some kind of show/Everybody’s watching/They don’t really know you now”. ‘The Getaway’ is a song about a guy causing a gal confusion: “You tell me that you love me first/Then throw your heart into reverse/I gotta get away/I can’t keep comin’ back to you every time you’re in the mood to whisper something sweet in my ear/It’s so hard to move on cuz every time I think you’re gone/You show up in my rear view mirror”. ‘Beat of my Heart’ is a catchy pop/dance song with no deep meaning, but that’s okay.
Next up is ‘Come Clean (Chris Cox Remix)’. This Kara DioGuardi/John Shanks song is given the techno-dance treatment here. It finds a young lady coming into her own: “I’m shedding, shedding every color/Trying to find a pigment of truth beneath my skin/Cause different doesn’t feel so different/And going out is better than always staying in/Feel the wind/Let the rain fall down and wake my dreams”. ‘Who’s that Girl (Acoustic Version)’ finds Hilary reflecting on a past version of herself: “I’m the one who made you laugh/Who made you feel and made you sad/I’m not sorry for what we did, who we were/I’m not sorry/I’m not her/Who’s that girl livin’ my life?”
The next track, ‘Mr. James Dean’ was penned by Hilary, her sister Haylie, and Kevin De Clue. This rocker has Hilary being honest with a guy: “All the king’s horses wouldn’t make me believe/Even when the walls come crashing down/You still could never be/A rebel without a cause/A rebel to the first degree/Why don’t you stop trying so hard?/Cause there’s no men man enough to be/Another James Dean/You’re nothing like him/So don’t call me friend”. ‘So Yesterday’ is about moving on when a relationship ends: “If it’s over, let it go and come tomorrow it will seem/So yesterday (2X)/I’m just a bird that’s already flown away/Laugh it off/Let it go and when you wake up it will seem/So yesterday (2X)/Haven’t you heard that I’m gonna be okay?”
‘Metamorphosis’ was written by Hilary, Charlie Midnight, Chico Bennett, and Andre Recke. This pop/rock song is about growing as a person: “Watching the butterfly go towards the sun/I wonder what I will become/Metamorphosis/Whatever this is/Whatever I’m going through/Come on and give me a kiss/Come on, I insist/I’ll be something new/A metamorphosis”. It was the title track to Hilary’s 2003 album. ‘Rock this World (Remix 2005)’ is an energetic rocker about having fun: “I don’t want to save the day/I just want to get my way/And rock this world/Read my lips and watch ‘em curl/Rock this world/It don’t take much to please this girl/I don’t need the glitter, don’t believe the hype/You might say I’m the simple type/Like any other girl/Who wants to rock this, rock this world”.
‘Break my Heart’ isn’t exactly a happy song: “Now I try to get my heart up off the ground/My confidence is gone/Happiness cannot be found/So look what you did to me/You got the best of me/And now I’m stuck with all the rest/It will never be the same”. Charlie Midnight and Chico Bennett wrote ‘Jericho’. This here, is a Remix 2005 version. Here are some of the lyrics: “Nothing is ever what it seems/When you live inside your dreams/The walls will tumble (2X)/But I’m not gonna cry/My heart won’t crumble (2X)/If we ever say goodbye”.
Kara DioGuardio and John Shanks wrote ‘Fly’, the inspirational lead single from Hilary’s self-titled 2004 album: “All your worries, leave them somewhere else/Find a dream you can follow/Reach for something when there’s nothing left/And the world’s feeling hollow/Can you hear it calling?/Can you feel it in your soul?/Can you trust this longing and take control?/Fly/Open up the part of you that wants to hide away/You can shine”. 2005’s pop/rocker ‘Supergirl’ oozes with self-confidence: “Haven’t you heard?/I’m Supergirl/You don’t wanna mess with me/I got your back/I know your every move/And I got everything you’ll ever need”.
‘Party Up (Remix 2005)’ is next. On it, Hilary calls out a guy for his bad behavior: “You roll me, you use me/You love me and then/You wrap me up and reel me in and use me again/You love me, you hate me/You say it’s the end/I know you’re gonna do it again and again...” ‘Girl Can Rock’ includes these fun lyrics: “Hey boys, are you ready for the shock?/I’m living proof, the girl can rock/Spread the news around every single block/Hey boys, the girl can rock/The girl can rock/Don’t say ‘maybe’ or call me ‘baby’/I ain’t crazy at all”.
Jane M. Wiedlin and Terence E. Hall wrote ‘Our Lips are Sealed’. It was originally recorded by The Go-Go’s on their 1981 album BEAUTY AND THE BEAT. Here, the happy pop song is a duet with Hilary’s sister Haylie. It appeared on the soundtrack for 2004’s ‘A Cinderalla Story’, in which Hilary starred. Here are some words of wisdom from the song: “It doesn’t matter what they say/In the jealous games people play/Our lips are sealed/Pay no mind to what they say/It doesn’t matter anyway/Our lips are sealed.../Hush, my darling/Don’t you cry/Quiet, angel/Forget their lies”. Closing things out is ‘Why Not (Remix 2005)’. It encourages us to step out of our comfort zones: “There may never be a sign/No flashing neon light/Telling you to make your move/When the time is right/Why not take a crazy chance?/Why not do a crazy dance?.../Why not take a star from the sky?/Why not spread your wings and fly?”
MOST WANTED: THE COLLECTOR’S SIGNATURE EDITION will appeal to fans of Carly Rae Jepsen and the earlier works of Miley Cyrus. One has to keep in mind that Hilary Duff was not quite 18 years of age when this collection came out! The CD runs almost an hour long. There are several songs about just having fun, loving and enjoying life and music. There are songs about guys falling short of her expectations, and breakups. There are also songs about starting anew, growing up, and reaching one’s full potential. Hilary comes across as strong and independent. I’m rating this project 84%. For more info visit: www.hilaryduff.com.