Hilary Duff | Breathe in. Breathe out. (RCA)

cd Hillary-DuffThis has been a long time coming; she’s obviously worked very hard on it for years.

 

 

Hilary Duff is back! Breathe in. Breathe out. is delightful. Musically, it returns us to the style of Duff’s early studio album, Metamorphosis (2004), while lyrically displaying a great deal of growth since her most recent album, Dignity (2007).

The album opens with a fun dance track, “Sparks.” I wouldn’t place this song in the club scene, but it’s a lot of fun to sing along to and is perfect to dance around on a girls’ night in, or even to work out to.

Rightfully so as the title song, “Breathe in. Breathe out” is the best song on the album. It carries the most emotion, as the lyrics take us through the end of a relationship, presumably inspired by Duff’s recent divorce. That being said, the song is not a depressing, the-world-has-ended breakup song, but rather an anthem of strength and starting anew. Fans of the former boy band Big Time Rush (such as myself) get a special treat as Kendall Schmidt makes a surprise appearance on the final track, “Night Like This.”

If you’re a longtime fan of Hilary Duff, buy this album, you will not be disappointed. This has been a long time coming; she’s obviously worked very hard on it for years, including some songwriting sessions with Ed Sheeran, and the work has paid off.

Even if you’re not a fan of Duff’s music, if you like pop music, this is still worth a listen. Duff does not have a particularly powerful voice so there are no vocal gymnastics, but her soft vocals are still beautiful and she skillfully chooses songs that fit her voice pattern.

Breathe in. Breathe out. has a little bit of everything: This album will get you through a bad day, let you sulk in your bad mood, daydream about new love, and let your hair down and have a good time. A | Samantha LaBat

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