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Beat of My Heart

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"Beat of My Heart"
Beat of My Heart.png
Single by Hilary Duff
from the album Most Wanted
Released December 11, 2005 (2005-12-11)
Format
Recorded 2005; Foxy Studio (Los Angeles, California)
Genre Electropop
Length 3:10
Label Hollywood
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Dead Executives
Hilary Duff singles chronology
"Wake Up"
(2005)
"Beat of My Heart"
(2005)
"Supergirl"
(2006)
Australian single cover
Australian single cover

"Beat of My Heart" is a song recorded by American singer Hilary Duff for her first compilation album, Most Wanted (2005). It was written by Duff and the Dead Executives, a record production team consisting of Jason Epperson, Joel and Benji Madden. Along with the three other new songs on Most Wanted, "Beat of My Heart" was crafted with the intention of having a "totally different sound" from Duff's previous material.[1] It is an up-tempo new wave-inspired electropop song that incorporates elements of bubblegum pop and dance music in its production. Lyrically, "Beat of My Heart" can be interpreted in many different ways. For Duff, it tells the story of a woman "com[ing] out of her shell again" after a bad break-up.[1]

Following the success of "Wake Up", "Beat of My Heart" was issued as the second international single from Most Wanted. It was released in Australia by Festival Mushroom Records on December 11, 2005 and in several European countries on March 6, 2006, by Angel Records. The single was a moderate commercial success. It managed to chart in four different countries, reaching its highest position in Italy, where it peaked at number eight. In addition, it reached the top twenty in Australia and Spain and the low-end of the chart in Switzerland. Critical reaction to "Beat of My Heart" was generally mixed, with many criticizing the song for being repetitive and childish, while others gave it credit for presenting an easy-to-listen-to sound.

The music video for "Beat of My Heart" was directed by Phil Harder. The video, which paid homage to bond girls, debuted a "more mature" image of Duff. It emulates the title sequences of James Bond films from the 1960s to present-day, high-tech 3D designs. Duff has performed "Beat of My Heart" live on all of her concert tours since its inception. A pre-recorded performance of the song was played during the 2006 edition of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, which would later become a regular feature during future editions of the program. The song and video were parodied on the American sketchy comedy series Mad TV. The parody satirizes Duff's thinness and Hollywood's obsession with body image. [2]

Background and development[edit]

On May 20, 2005, MTV News reported that Hilary Duff would be releasing a new album in August, comprising previously released tracks and four new recordings.[3] The following month, in an interview with MTV News, Duff said that she had been working with brothers Joel and Benji Madden, of the American rock band Good Charlotte, and Jason Epperson (together known under the production name the Dead Executives) to write and produce new songs for the compilation. She said that " ... they're three of my favorite songs I've ever done. ... It was really fun being in the studio with them."[4] Described by Duff as the first time when "all the responsibility was on [her]", she went into the recording studio without the guidance of her record label or management.[5]

According to Duff, she did not tell anyone at her record label that she was working with the Dead Executives.[1] Joel, whom Duff had been dating at the time, was aware that she needed new material for a compilation album, and knew that she wanted a "totally different sound".[1] Together, the Dead Executives went into the recording studio and worked on new music for Duff, before bringing her into the studio to collectively work on them.[1] Duff described working with them as pleasant, and the music as a new milestone in her career, stating that working with "people you're close with makes a world of difference when you're recording and being creative."[1] At the same time, Duff was also nervous about how her fans would react to the new music.[5] Duff recorded four tracks for the album, three of which were co-written and produced with the Dead Executives.[6]

For Duff, who stated that the song can be interpreted in many different ways, "Beat of My Heart" tells the story of a heterosexual relationship, in which the woman was in love with the man, but he was not "as into her as she was him".[7] After the couple break-up, she found herself in a place where she "wasn't herself".[7] She then "comes out of her shell again", which Duff described as: "Coming out again, dancing again, smiling again, having fun and seeing everything in a brighter light."[7] The Dead Executives were instrumental in the instrumentation of "Beat of My Heart", performing on the bass and guitars.[7] They also mixed and engineered the song; the latter was also conducted by Todd Parker and Grant Conway and assisted by Allan Hessler.[7] It was mixed and recorded at the Foxy Studio in Los Angeles, California.[7] The drums featured on the track was performed by Dean Butterworth while Monique Powell and The Fruit performed backing vocals.[7] The song was then mastered by Joe Gastwirt.[7]

Composition[edit]

"Beat of My Heart" is an up-tempo new wave-inspired electropop song that incorporates elements of bubblegum pop and dance music in its production.[8][9][10] It contains a "soft electronic pop" sound and has the heart beat sound as its base,[11][12] as well as guitar strums at a "feverish pace" throughout the song.[8] Spence D. of IGN described "Beat of My Heart" as a "glorious uninhibited slab of Euro pop as filtered through the vocal chords of a warm-blooded American girl."[11]

"Beat of My Heart" opens with the sound of a beating heart.[8] In the pre-chorus, Duff's vocals are made distant by the song's use of guitars and synth keyboards.[8] She sings that she is going to follow her own interests: "To the beat of my / To the beat of my / To the beat of my heart".[8] In the first verse, a disinterested Duff sings that she is eager to speak her mind and "yield to her every desire".[8] In the chorus, she sings that her confidence has strained her relationships with her friends.[8] In the second verse, she sings of being over her depression.[8] An "angry guitar" and a "goth piano" interrupts the song in its bridge. Duff sings that she is only listening to herself from now on.[8] According to Chuck Taylor of Billboard magazine, the line "beat of my heart" is repeated forty-four times in the song.[13]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

"Beat of My Heart" received comparisons to the music of American singers Debbie Gibson (left) and Tiffany (right).[14]

"Beat of My Heart" received generally mixed reviews from contemporary music critics. Pam Avoledo of Blogcritics wrote that Duff sounds like she is bored and "going through the motions" on the song. She further stated that Duff has "lost her sauciness and ironically, her spunk" in the song. Avoledo concluded her review by calling "the bland electro pop" song an "insult to the genre. It's like spilling ramen on a Vivenne Westwood evening gown."[8] A reviewer from CBBC Newsround commented that the song is so repetitive that you will feel like "you've listened to it 20 times after just one play".[12] The reviewer praised the heartbeat present on the track, writing that it "make it a bit of a foot-tapper", but deemed the lyrics to be "meaningless".[12] The reviewer concluded that: "You'll find yourself humming it but will be hard pushed to remember what on earth she was singing about!"[12] Spence D. of IGN wrote that "Beat of My Heart" does not try for subtlety as it utilizes the "much overused heartbeat" for the "foundation rhythm" of the song.[11]

A reviewer for Billboard noted that the song "seems to toss her back to her Disney days". They concluded that: "Pop music is always appreciated, but this is a kiddie anthem, plain and simple [...] it is hardly a contender for contemporary radio".[15] Bill Lamb of About.com found the song, along with "Break My Heart", to be "disappointing cookie cutter copies" of Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi". He stated that although the songs are "easy to listen", they "break no new ground".[16] Gabriel Leong of MTV Asia stated that "Beat of My Heart" sounds "very much like" songs that Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and Bananarama would have recorded in 1980s, a direction that suits Duff "much better than the whole budding rock chick image she's been trying out. We don't want a squabble with Ashlee [Simpson] now, do we Hil?"[14]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Beat of My Heart" was a moderate commercial success. The single managed to chart in four different countries, reaching its highest position in Italy, where it peaked at number eight on the week ending on April 6, 2006, after debuting at number ten.[17] In Australia, "Beat of My Heart" outperformed "Wake Up" by reaching number 13; it stayed on the chart for a total 14 weeks.[18] The song gained lower positions in Spain, where it managed to peak inside the top twenty by reaching number 17; and in Switzerland, where it reached number 89.[19][20] In 2006, "Beat of My Heart" was placed at number 90 on the Australian year-end singles chart, and at number 74 on the year-end Australian Physical Singles chart.[21]

Promotion[edit]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Beat of My Heart" was shot in Los Angeles, California on the week of September 26, 2005.[22] It was directed by Phil Harder for Harder/Fuller Films, who is best known for his mid-to-late 1990s videos for seminal indie rock acts Low, the Red House Painters and The Afghan Whigs, as well as his videos for The Barenaked Ladies.[23][24] The video, which pays homage to bond girls, contains "that hip sensibility" of James Bond films and presents a "more mature" image of Duff.[22] A representative for Duff's record label said that: "She's always been a huge James Bond fan. She watched those movies with her sister growing up, and she loved the Bond girls, because they were always so stylish, and she's stylish."[22] The music video was made available to purchase on the iTunes Store from November 2, 2005.[25] It later made its on-air premiere on MTV's Total Request Live a week later, on November 9.[26] The music video was also promoted during January 2006 on Disney Channel as well.

The music video emulates the title sequences of Bond films from the 1960s to present-day, high-tech 3D designs.[22] In the opening sequence, one of the graphics turns into a wire frame of a beating electronic heart, which "pulls out" with each beat. As the camera zooms, the heart grows in size and "weaves" to become Duff.[22] According to MTV News, while she doesn't "take on" Pussy Galore, Plenty O'Toole, Holly Goodhead, or any other Bond girl, she becomes a "Bond girl in spirit", switching from era to era with different looks, with her hair blowing and flying around in graphic silhouettes.[22] Instead of cutting from image to image, the shots evolve in a Bond-like style "as shapes take on different forms to reveal something else".[22] Duff performs in silhouette, with a microphone, "where a gun would otherwise be".[22] In another shot, her band is a silhouette.[22] The edition of the video is matched to the beat of the song, "zapping the view in and out, until a lull in the song, when the view travels back into her eyes, through her skin and back to her beating heart."[22]

Live performances[edit]

Duff premiered "Beat of My Heart" as part of the set list of the Still Most Wanted Tour, which commenced on July 12, 2005 in Los Angeles.[27] She co-hosted the 2006 edition of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. A pre-recorded performance of "Beat of My Heart" was played during the program. The event also featured a live performance from Times Square by Mariah Carey—the first in the show's history. These live performances would become a regular feature during future editions of New Year's Rockin' Eve.[28][29][30] Duff performed the song as part of the set list of the Dignity World Tour (2007–08).[31]

Track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of "Beat of My Heart" CD single.[33]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Australia[37] December 11, 2005 CD single Festival Mushroom
Austria[38] March 6, 2006 Digital download Angel
France[39]
Germany[35]
Italy[40]
Norway[41]
Italy[42] March 8, 2006 CD single Virgin
Germany[43] March 31, 2006 Angel

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Tecson, Brandee J. (July 18, 2005). "Hilary Draws the Line at Collaborating with Good Charlotte". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a32oi4palQ8
  3. ^ Harris, Chris (May 20, 2005). "Hilary Duff Lines Up 32 Summer Dates". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ Tecson, Brandee J. (June 6, 2005). "Cheaper by the Duo? Hilary Duff Teams Up With Madden Brothers for New LP". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Tecson, Brandee J. (September 20, 2005). "Hilary Says She Worried About Fan Reaction to Madden-Produced Music". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  6. ^ A. Jeckell, Barry (June 14, 2005). "Duff's 'Most Wanted' to Boast New Songs". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Most Wanted (Booklet). Hilary Duff. Burbank, California: Hollywood Records, a division of The Walt Disney Company. 2005. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Avoledo, Pam (December 5, 2005). "Single Review: Hilary Duff "Beat of My Heart"". Blogcritics. Technorati Inc. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ Anderman, Joan (September 1, 2007). "Duff, and her tunes, are all dolled up". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ Massimo, Rick (July 25, 2005). "Hilary Duff delivers the stuff of teen-girl dreams". The Providence Journal. A. H. Belo Corporation. 
  11. ^ a b c D., Spence (August 17, 2005). "Hilary Duff – Most Wanted". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Single Review: Hilary Duff – Beat of My Heart". CBBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. May 31, 2006. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  13. ^ Taylor, Chuck (November 26, 2005). "Reviews: Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 117 (48): 65. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Leong, Gabriel (September 1, 2005). "Hilary Duff – Most Wanted". MTV Asia. MTV Networks Asia Pacific (Viacom). Retrieved October 15, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Billboard single reviews: Destiny's Child, Nickelback". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. November 20, 2005. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2006. 
  16. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Most Wanted – Hilary Duff". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  17. ^ a b "Italiancharts.com – Hilary Duff – Beat of My Heart". Top Digital Download. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Hilary Duff – Beat of My Heart". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Spanishcharts.com – Hilary Duff – Beat of My Heart" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Swisscharts.com – Hilary Duff – Beat of My Heart". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 2006". ARIA. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Vineyard, Jennifer (September 24, 2005). "Hilary Duff Forms A Bond With Espionage Hotties In New Video". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved June 10, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Booked: Hilary Duff – Phil Harder, director". Video Static. September 5, 2005. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Hilary Duff's Beating Heart". IGN. News Corporation. November 9, 2005. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Music Videos – Beat of My Heart by Hilary Duff". United States: iTunes Store (US). Apple, Inc. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  26. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (November 9, 2005). "Hilary Duff Puts Everything on Hold to Do Nothing". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  27. ^ Tecson, Brandee J. (July 13, 2005). "Hilary Duff Launches Tour Amid Sea Of Glow Sticks, In (Gasp!) Only One Outfit". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  28. ^ Shales, Tom (January 2, 2006). "Live From New York, And on the Mend". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved December 10, 2012. 
  29. ^ Barmash, Jerry. "Marking New Year's Eve at Times Square Without Dick Clark". FishbowlNY. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  30. ^ Maynard, John (December 31, 2005). "Television: Saturday: New Year's Eve Programming". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  31. ^ Stevenson, Jane (September 8, 2007). "Hilary Duff – Concert Review: ACC, Toronto – September 8, 2007". Canoe.ca. Québecor Média. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  32. ^ Beat of My Heart (Australian CD single liner notes). Hilary Duff. Festival Mushroom Records. 2005. 2061641392. 
  33. ^ a b Beat of My Heart (European CD single liner notes). Hilary Duff. EMI Records. 2006. 
  34. ^ Beat of My Heart (Spanish CD maxi single liner notes). Hilary Duff. EMI Records. 2006. 0094635643527. 
  35. ^ a b "Beat of My Heart (2006)". 7digital. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  36. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 100 Physical Singles 2006". ARIA. Archived from the original on January 27, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Hilaryduff.com.au – the official Australian website for all things Hilary Duff!". Hillaryduff.com.au. December 11, 2005. Archived from the original on December 11, 2005. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Beat of My Heart (2006)". 7digital. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Beat of My Heart (2006)". 7digital. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Beat of My Heart (2006)". 7digital. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Beat of My Heart (2006)". 7digital. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  42. ^ "Beat of My Heart" (in Italian). Amazon.it. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Beat of My Heart" (in German). Amazon.de. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 

External links[edit]