dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hilary Duff's Dignity: 2007's First Great Pop Album

Screw the boring Mika hype, forget the cheap, slapped-together trill of Katharine McPhee and throw your Amy Winehouse onto the fire.

It's no joke, kids; D'luv is fessing up and declaring that Hilary Duff -- one of Chart Rigger's fave starlets to diss in the early days -- has put out the first slam-dunk set of pop wizardry this year. I'd compare Dignity to Gwen Stefani's Love. Angel. Music. Baby., but that album had a few clunkers. This one does not. Every Kylie-worthy track here is a winner, which is a rarity these days...an actual CD you'll stick with from start to finish.

Hilary co-wrote 13 of the 14 songs along with writer/producers who understood and nurtured her teen-pop sensibilities rather than tried to sex her up into some whored-out, Hip-hop Pussycat slut.

The sheer enjoyability of Dignity really can't be over-emphasized. The standouts are:

"Never Stop": It's 1985 and you're roller-skating on an electric-blue boardwalk at a sun-drenched beach with your headphones on and a red popsicle in hand...or at least that's how this choon (with hints of Thompson Twins' "If You Were Here," which you'll know if you ever watched the last scene of Sixteen Candles) makes you feel.

"Danger": Duff rebuffs an older gent trying to put the moves on her in this disco gem -- pointing out "the hundred girls you've had over time." Hmmm, Robbie Williams was born in '74...

"Outside Of You": The melody of the chorus is pure bliss and everything the rest of today's pop stars should be trying to achieve if they weren't so preoccupied with hiring boring hacks like Scott Storch and Pharrel.

"Happy": Ditto with this one. It's a post-breakup respect anthem that starts out with sleek electro-guitar riffs, then breaks into a Lisa Lisa/Debbie Deb freestyle stomper. It's followed by the similar-sounding Debbie D.-esque "Burned."

"Dreamer": Hil hums the melody of Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough" over an '80s synth pastiche that Gwen only wishes she netted for The Sweet Escape.

Trust me, if you've been lamenting the state of good old-fashioned fun pop, give the Duff a chance. There are definitely worse things you could spend your ten bucks on. Whereas most of her contemporaries have fallen victim to trashy tabloid affairs, divorces and rehab stints, 19-year-old Hilary has maintained a low profile, written a surprisingly smashing and relevant album and, ultimately, kept her dignity.

Dignity is out next Tuesday, April 3.

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  • At 1:06 AM, Blogger Paul said…

    i concur, i'm enjoying this a lot along with the not as great, but still a lot of fun ashley tisdale set. Always good to see brillo chartrigger posts in the place that they are meant to be ;)

  • At 5:45 AM, Blogger xolondon said…

    Ashley was on American TV (Regis) and CANNOT sing, nor is she pretty on TV, so La Duff is closer to the real thing. I have not heard this record. Who did it with her, do we know?

  • At 6:42 AM, Blogger moogaboo said…

    Kara DioGuardi has co-written all of the songs, according to her nice website. http://karadioguardi.com/

  • At 8:02 AM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    I'd like to state that I got this album as a promo and didn't illegally download it...

    In the liner notes, she says "I've worked with Kara (Dioguardi) many times and knew that I wanted to write this album with her help....most of the record I wrote at home with Kara..."

    Along a zillion other pop songs and albums out in the past year alone, Kara co-wrote Kylie's "Spinning Around."

    Here are the writer/producer credits for Hilary's Dignity:

    1. "Stranger"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/V. Nobles/D. Haruin/J. Diaz

    produced by Vada Nobles, Derrick Harum and Logic

    2. "Dignity"

    written by H. Duff/K Dioguardi/ C. Bennett/R. Vission

    produced by Chico Bennett & Richard Vission

    3. "With Love"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/V. Nobles/J. Diaz

    produced by Vada Nobles and Logic

    4. "Danger"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/V. Nobles/M. Camargo/J. Diaz

    produced by Vada Nobles, Mateo Camargo, additional production by Logic

    5. "Gypsy Woman

    written by H. & H. Duff/R. Tedder

    produced by Ryan Tedder

    6. "Never Stop"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/C. Bennett/R. Vission

    produced by Chico Bennett & Richard Vission/additional production by Victor Gonzalez

    7. "All Work, No Play"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/G. Wells

    produced by Greg Wells and Kara Dioguardi

    8. "Between You And Me"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/C. Bennett/R. Vission

    produced by Chico Bennett & Richard Vission

    9. "Dreamer"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/F. Nassar

    produced by "Fredwreck" Nassar& Kara Dioguardi

    10. "Happy"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/M. Allan/R. Lawrence

    produced by Chico Bennett & Richard Vission

    11. "Burned"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/F. Nassar

    produced by "Fredwreck" Nassar & Kara Dioguardi

    12. "Outside Of You"

    written by A. Moore/C. Kreviazuk/R. Maida

    produced by Chico Bennett & Richard Vission/co-produced by Raine Maida

    13. "I Wish"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/T. Kelley/B,. Robinson

    produced by Tim & Bob

    14. "Play With Fire"

    written by H. Duff/K. Dioguardi/R. Lawrence/Will.I.Am

    produced by Rhett Lawrence

  • At 7:16 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    Rhett Lawrence - isn't he an old school producer? Maybe I am confusing that name.

    The CD cover makes her look like a 40 yr old on the runway at the Oscars.

  • At 10:10 PM, Anonymous spinning around said…

    1. Fuck all the haters.
    2. Kara AND Paula Abdul, dear.

  • At 10:58 PM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    XO, indeed -- Rhett Lawrence produced Kelly Clarkson's "Miss Independent," which has similarities to "Play WIth Fire," musically, and Mariah's "Vision Of Love." He also wrote Monica's "Angel Of Mine."

    Spinning Around... sigh... yes, how could I forget P. Abdul's amazing contribution to "Spinning Around." I'm guessing she supplied the crack to the studio engineers.

  • At 12:39 AM, Anonymous spinning full circle said…

    Rhett Lawrence's wrote and produced Eternal's Angel of Mine, which Monica covered. Spinning Around is Paula's song.

  • At 11:51 PM, Anonymous grandma tuna funnel said…

    Musical genius dripped from Paula's pen as she wrote "Spinning Around," dear.

  • At 4:25 AM, Anonymous amanda-kate said…

    on no. 12, outside of u. who is the writers name A.Moore?? anyways i lov happy, play wit fire and i wish. xo

  • At 12:09 PM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    It's Alicia Moore, aka Pink!

  • At 3:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    this is where there are different news about this album: http://lavamus.com/Album/2292567/Hilary_Duff/Dignity/mp3/


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