Revisiting Hilary Duff's 'Metamorphosis'

by Rachel Simon

On this day, ten years ago you were probably listening to Metamorphosis, the second album from then teen superstar Hilary Duff. The 13-song record, featuring future karaoke hits like "So Yesterday" and "Come Clean," was released the day before, Aug. 26, 2003. Don't say you've never heard it, or that you were too cool to listen to a Hilary Duff album — we know you're lying. Metamorphosis debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, moved to number one a week later, became the eighth best selling album of 2003, and eventually sold five million copies worldwide. So yeah, you listened.

It's hard to believe that Metamorphosis is already ten years old, or that Hilary Duff was only 15 when it was released (but still playing a seventh grader on TV — go figure.) It seems like it was just yesterday that we were singing "Come Clean" into our hairbrushes like it was nobody's business and swooning over Gordo's mini Jew-fro, but alas, how time flies. Now, Metamorphosis is a decade old and Duff is married with a kid.

In honor of the album's anniversary, as well as Duff's possible foray back into music (!), let's revisit some of Metamorphosis' most memorable songs.

1. "So Yesterday"

The opener of the album, "So Yesterday" is arguably the most famous track off the album. It premiered on AOL Music (throwback!), and gained over 500,000 streams in two days. It received mixed reviews from critics due to its similarities in tone and style to Avril Lavigne, who had released her bestselling debut, Let Go, only a year before, but it did well enough with the album-buying public to give Duff her first ever song in the Billboard 200.

When "So Yesterday" premiered, I remember thinking that it was the deepest. song. ever. due to lyrics like "you can change your clothes if you wanna" and ""if the light is off then it isn't on." Ten years later, I don't quite share the same passion for the song that I once did, but I can't deny that it's still pretty great. If you don't remember, or if you just want to revisit the idea of Duff giving herself a post-breakup makeover that includes fingerless gloves, just rewatch the music video, which is so epically early '00s.

2. "Come Clean"

The second single off Metamorphosis, "Come Clean" reached the top 40, and was certified "Gold" in the U.S. Many people may remember it as the theme song for Laguna Beach; I remember it as the song my fifth grade science class used for our musical project on clouds ("let the cumulus fall, 'cuz they don't rain..."). Regardless of how you know it, everyone listened to "Come Clean" at some point and marveled over the intensity of Duff's newest song, which included angst-ridden lyrics like "let it wash away my sanity, 'cause I wanna feel the thunder, I wanna scream." The video's even better, because not only do you hear Duff sing about letting "the rain fall down" and "shedding every color," you actually see the rain fall down and Duff's world turn black and white! Who needs subtlety, right?

3. "Little Voice"

"Little Voice" was actually originally recorded by Sahlene, a Swedish pop singer, and did fairly well overseas. And then Hilary Duff came along and tore it to pieces. Duff's cover of the song is terrible. It's so bad that it may even rival Britney Spears' garbage-can-banging rendition of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" for The Worst Ever Cover Of An Actually Good Song Award. I wish I could say that I was mature enough to realize how awful "Little Voice" was when it was released, but sadly, I was too far gone in my Hilary Duff fandom to acknowledge any of the singer's missteps.

4. "Where Did I Go Right"

It's unfortunate that "Where Did I Go Right," a sweet, lovestruck ballad, never became a single, because it's one of Duff's all-time best songs. It's not quite as radio friendly as some of the other tracks of the album, but it showcases Duff's voice and maturity while sticking comfortably within the teen pop genre. The sound is a little too reminiscent of Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You," but Duff's high voice makes "Where Did I Go Right" very much her own. There's no music video, but feel free to listen to the song again anyhow - we know you want to.

5. "Why Not"

"Why Not" was recorded for The Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack, but was included as a bonus track on Metamorphosis. It's one of Duff's most famous songs, and rightfully so; the lyrics may be asinine (when it was released, Michelle Branch said it was one of the worst songs she'd ever heard), but the chorus is addictingly catchy. It's exactly the type of carefree, makes-no-sense-but-we-love-it-anyway pop rock that helped catapult Duff to superstardom, and makes us yearn for her return to music.

The video for "Why Not" shows Duff, who for some reason is wearing a black long sleeve shirt covered in strangely shaped holes, and a backup band performing on a rooftop. There's a guy who looks like Ed Sheeran, someone else who looks like Teddy Geiger, and another guy who's wearing a Gryffindor scarf. There are also random people jump roping and break dancing, presumably on the street below. It's all quite odd, but nonetheless, a ton of fun to watch.

Happy birthday, Metamorphosis! May you keep on providing us with great karaoke choices for another ten years.