At the start of her career Hilary Duff emerged from the same type of mass-produced Disney franchise that now gives us Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana. She first made her name back in 2001, aged just 13, playing the title role in the TV show Lizzie McGuire. Adapted into a movie in 2003, this part proved the launchpad for a prolific Hollywood career. Since then Duff has featured in movies including Cheaper by the Dozen (2003) and A Cinderella Story (2004). As with all self-respecting Tinseltown players, her ambitions extend behind the cameras, too: Duff produced the film Material Girls in 2006. Her music career began to take off in 2003 with the album Metamorphosis. Back then her young fans seemed to be the target market. However, as she has grown up, Duff has aimed for an older audience, especially on her fourth album, Dignity, released in 2007. This much is obvious in such songs as Reach Out and Touch Me and Play with Fire. Throughout her career Duff has also tackled a range of subjects, from the serious to the plain banal. Stranger is about a "perfect" relationship that isn't what it seems, while Wake Up on a Saturday Night covers the groundbreaking territory of a great evening out. However, that is not to say that this singer is without merit. Duff is most convincing when she is turning out such finely crafted mainstream pop songs as With Love. Unfortunately, though, while the remixes at the end of the CD bring a contemporary club feel, they do little to improve the original tracks. Typically, when a Best Of album comes along, it is a reinforcement of an artist's success. For Duff, though, this collection may serve as reminder to stick to what she does best.
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