Single Review: Hilary Duff “Someone’s Been Watching Over Me”

Someone’s Watching Over Me
Album: Hilary Duff
Year: 2005

According to Contactmusic.com, Joel Madden, lead singer of Good Charlotte and Hilary Duff’s boyfriend, has made New Year’s resolutions for 2005. There are the usual: work on music, have world move towards peace. Then there are the outlandish: get married and have a baby. It wouldn’t be crazy if Duff weren’t 17 years old, making her barely legal. (“”My New Year’s resolutions are to work on (my label) DC Flag Records and Made Clothing, sponsor two kids in Asia, get involved with Africa, go to church more, get married, make a baby, and write and produce for other people.”). There wasn’t a response from Duff’s public relations team which is great. A 20+ boyfriend talking about how he wants to marry and make babies with his minor girlfriend is perverted. It’s not the type of thing a still-teen pop star should want to publicize.

In Duff’s second single from her self-titled album, she is giving herself a pep talk. She’s disappointed and upset with herself. She doesn’t like who she is (“Found myself today/Oh I found myself and ran away”). Then, she cancels her pity party when she starts to look at it from a less dramatic angle (“Something pulled me back/The voice of reason I forgot I had”). Her boyfriend is leaving her which is the cause of her depression and something that was going to happen anyway. (“All I know is just you’re not here to say/What you always used to say”).

She reassures herself and builds up her self-esteem by saying she will be determined and have a tough skin. She’ll make it through and remember someone cares about her (“So I won’t give up/No I won’t break down/Sooner than it seems life turns around/And I will be strong/Even if it all goes wrong/When I’m standing in the dark I’ll still believe/Someone’s watching over me”).

She’s already begun to see she’s independent and can do anything if she puts her mind to it. (“Seen that ray of light/And it’s shining on my destiny/Shining all the time”). She’s fearless about what the future will bring (“And I wont be afraid/To follow everywhere it’s taking me”) and will follow her dreams (“And right now I belong/To this moment to my dreams”).

In the bridge, she does offer some excellent advice despite being hokey. She also manages to rip herself off by telling people to ‘fly’ to their unrealized potential (“It doesn’t matter what people say/And it doesn’t matter how long it takes/Believe in yourself and you’ll fly high/And it only matters how true you are/Be true to yourself and follow your heart”).

The message is important and one Duff is keen on repeating. After having a science teacher at my high school tell me I didn’t have good enough grades to be a writer scarred me for a while. My confidence was shaken and I couldn’t believe in myself. So I followed her recommendation for me, which was marketing. I stayed with that for a couple years and but I found it joyless and mechanical. Like the song, a romantic disappointment motivated me to change my major and schools. It was worth it when I took my first writing class to hear my professor say I was a natural writer. From then on, I’ve become self-reliant and developed the self-esteem to believe in myself. These type of pop songs are great to hear. However Duff needs not to be lethargic while she’s trying to inspire people.

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