Single Review: Hilary Duff “Come Clean”

Come Clean
Album: Metamorphosis
Year: 2004

Resembling a press release, Hilary Duff’s “diary”on her website lacks any personality whatsoever. It’s filled with formal, impersonal statements like “After I returned from Japan, I started working on the Heart of Summer.” Occasionally there are the random lower case letter and misspellings. However, it feels more like an adult is really writing it.

Hilary Duff’s image, marketed as the quintessential teenage girl, doesn’t come through on her official website. Unlike her music, it’s serious and without any girliness at all. The marketing of herself and her music conflict with each other. The music website is showy and stylish. Hilary is set up as the glamorous girl next door with a bit of a rock star in her. So who is Hilary Duff exactly?

For the moment, she is tired of being the sweet, perfect girl. She wants to break free of it and be wild and crazy. Written by John Shanks (Michelle Branch), “Come Clean” is more rock than pop. Perhaps included on the album to give it some depth, she is supposed to appear serious and intelligent. However, instead it’s pretentious and circular. The song doesn’t arrive at a point, just at nonsensical phrases. Such as, “’cause different doesn’t feel so different/And going out is always better than staying in” and “shedding every color/trying to find a pigment of truth/beneath my skin.”

Hilary Duff needs to stick to faux rock like “So Yesterday.” Here, she sounds like an angsty teenager singing overwritten, bad poetry. After releasing her previous two singles about being carefree and enjoying life, it’s insincere.

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