After splitting with her boyfriend, Good Charlotte's incorrigible Joel Madden, Hilary Duff could have proclaimed her independence with an emotional, energetic f**k-off record. Perhaps like Jagged Little Pill -- with less swearing.
Of course, Duff has never been one to ruffle feathers, so it should come as no surprise that her new album arrived in the form of Dignity, an over-produced, under-developed collection of dance-pop drivel.
Generally, there's no crime in pairing trite, mindless lyrics with club-friendly, synthetic beats. The main problem here is that Duff lacks the diva attitude and the vocal chops to pull it off.
Beyond her questionable skills, the mediocre source material doesn't necessarily help. First single "With Love" is Duff's pathetic attempt to assert herself, yet at the end of it she still demurs, "I can be weak cause I know you'll be strong." How's that for empowering?
Elsewhere the disc is rife with shameless Britney rip-offs like the vaguely-tribal "Gypsy Woman," and contrived retro fare like "Never Stop" and "Dreamer." Dignity's monotony isn't doing the disc any favors either, as somehow each song manages to sound increasingly generic. It's embarrassing, really. Even Paris Hilton was able to muster up something better on her uninspired debut.
In her defense, Duff must be doing something right. She has sold thirteen million albums in her relatively short career, presumably to Disney-crazed zombies, suburban tween-age girls ,and misguided gay pop tarts. In my opinion, however, there's one word that best describes Duff's latest effort (and this is terribly undignified): Sh*t.