Dignity -- Better order

Playlist By

Michael Mays

Data Refreshed On

October 14, 2022

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Playlist Length

0 days, 0 hours, 33 minutes

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Somewhat Popular



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Here's another example from a while back. Consider Hillary Duff's long-forgotten, pretty mediocre album [Dignity](https://open.spotify.com/album/2OD92YQZuME96A0b1aJzQF). Oof! Who edited this track list?! Who put these songs in THIS order? WHY ARE ALL BUT TWO OF THE GOOD SONGS IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE ALBUM?! So, I made [this](https://open.spotify.com/user/mdawgig/playlist/2IcQm4ryn7mStlauDtfFHN). What really irks me about Dignity is that, perhaps unbeknownst even to Duff and DioGuardi themselves, there’s a better-than-the-original concept album hidden in here that is completely undermined by the heavy load of the album’s 14 song track list. *Paradoxically, they included too many breakup songs on this breakup album.* Thematically, the revised album does a better job of telling a story of love *with a plot*. Duff is initially suspicious of a cocky stranger across the bar (“Between You and Me” and “Danger,”) but falls in love regardless (“With Love,” “Never Stop”). He cheats, and she initially focuses on feeling sad about him and the other woman (“Outside of You,” “Stranger,” and “Gypsy Woman”) but moves on to harnessing that anger into, well, some vague fire self-empowerment metaphor (the title track, “Burned,” and “Play with Fire”). Hey, I didn’t say it was a **deep** concept album. But this is Hilary Duff we’re talking about. She’s not exactly about genre-defining innovation. But what’s strange is that when you listen to the album in this form, you become more sensitive to the numerous ways that Duff can perform in a Britney-like fashion. A stronger track list would have emphasized a few excellent bubblegum tracks (“Between You and Me,” “Never Stop”) that are buried in the rubble of the second half for some ungodly reason. Perhaps the record label wanted to speed up that part of the record, which is already supporting the mediocre slow-burn guitar tracks, but the proper way to solve that is making the album better and more compact, not adding more songs until we -- the audience -- forget what we are hearing as we hear it. Almost as importantly, the new track list makes better use of the textural diversity of Dignity. On one end of the spectrum are songs more aligned with Duff’s previous teen pop-rock background, while the other end is nu-disco electro production. I think the decision was right to relegate the guitar-heavy tracks to the second half of the album, but I trimmed them and put a few (“Between You and Me” and “Outside of You”) in the first half.





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12/24/16 10:02


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