Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me

July 23, 2018 at 1:52 PM | Posted in Demi Lovato | Leave a comment

tmylm1ALBUM REVIEW
Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me

1. Sorry Not Sorry
2. Tell Me You Love Me
3. Sexy Dirty Love
4. You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore
5. Daddy Issues
6. Ruin The Friendship
7. Only Forever
8. Lonely (feat. Lil Wayne)
9. Cry Baby
10. Games
11. Concentrate
12. Hitchhiker
13. Instruction (feat. Jax Jones & Stefflon Don)
14. Sorry Not Sorry (Acoustic Version)
15. No Promises (Acoustic) (feat. Cheat Codes)

♦ ♦ ♦

tmylm2Tell Me You Love Me is the sixth studio album by American singer Demi Lovato, released on September 29, 2017. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 Charts and was later certified platinum for selling one million units in the US, making it Demi’s first platinum album.

Way to go to open the album with the incredibly catchy and unapologetic Sorry Not Sorry, a message for the so-called haters. Demi belts out her amazing strong lyrics to a hiphop beat with minimal piano notes and lots of synths. It’s right up there with other powerful songs like ‘Confident’, love it!

Tell Me You Love Me has a more soulful approach and tends to stay in my head for several days after I’ve listened to it just once. It’s filled with a somewhat slower handclap beat and lots of horns, and I really like the chanting in the chorus. Demi’s vocals sound wonderful and yet full of angst which makes for another amazing track.

Demi explores nu-disco in Sexy Dirty Love, another one of my absolute favorites on this album. It’s playful just like its title and I love how it explores more of the 80s and 90s music style while still being contemporary. Very old-school and bold, I feel like Demi is not just teasing the ‘you-person’ in the song but also everyone who listens to this song.

It’s not ‘Stone Cold’, but You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore has almost the same impact as said song from her 2015 album ‘Confident’. Despite sounding like a break-up song, this actually is Demi breaking up with her old habits and addiction which is why her vocals are even more powerful and emotional than ever. The highlight of the song is Demi using her higher vocal range in a crescendo, can’t get enough of that.

For someone singing about her actual relationship with her father on previous records, Demi took quite a risk with her song Daddy Issues. But if you look past that detail, it’s actually a fun song in the electropop genre and I like the stuttering synth effects in the beginning of the chorus. The more I listen to it, the more I actually want to give Demi bonus points for this tongue-in-cheek move.

Ruin The Friendship is a slow R&B song with an incredibly good bassline, especially in the version. The horn in the chorus makes it a bit more seductive while not overdoing it, but it’s still smoldering hot. I’m glad Demi decided not to belt out the lyrics until the very last chorus, though.

The next ballad on the album, Only Forever, is a melancholic one about waiting for someone you just started a relationship with to make the first move. The best thing about this song is the piano melody and Demi’s voice echoing throughout, and it’s definitely not a bad one, I just feel like the other tracks on the album captured my attention more.

Staying in the slow section of the album, Lonely (feat. Lil Wayne) explores Demi’s angriness with an abusive partner. Demi throws a lot of f-bombs set to a minimalist trap beat, but I don’t mind since I think it makes the song stronger. Lil Wayne and Demi make a surprisingly good team here.

tmylm3Cry Baby continues the streak of slow songs, but again in a completely different way. Not angry, not melancholic but heartbroken Demi laments about love gone bad to a rock n’ roll inspired arrangement. I love the electric guitars that give this track even more edge than it already has.

I remember from Demi’s documentary ‘Simply Complicated’ that Games is based off her experiences on dating apps. Sadly, it wasn’t all good experiences but Demi exclaims that if you send mixed messages, ‘two can play these games..‘. I love the trap arrangement here, not the best song on the album but also not the worst since it’s very catchy.

Concentrate is an interesting song that didn’t capture me until about 50 seconds in, when the guitar melody and handclaps are joined by chants and electric guitar riffs. The minimalistic arrangement has the upper hand though, so it just leaves me longing for that little bit more.

Ending the standard version of the album on a positive note, we have Hitchhiker. Again, the guitar is the dominant instrument in the arrangement and it makes for another midtempo laidback track. I find that I like this one better than Concentrate despite both tracks are a bit similar to each other, especially when placed back to back on the album.

Moving on to the songs on the deluxe version, Instruction (feat. Jax Jones & Stefflon Don) spices things up again, and boy what a good collaboration. Following the dancehall trend and incorporating some samba and reggaeton, it’s the perfect summer song and I drive my husband crazy by always singing along. Fierce!

Sorry Not Sorry (Acoustic) had me thinking it took all the fire out of the original, but as soon as the percussion in the chorus kicks in, it sounds like the perfect, fun filled acoustic version. It gives off the ambience of Demi being at a party and spontaneously performing this song with the band and the other people present.

While the original was a nice house track, No Promises (Acoustic) (feat. Cheat Codes) shows a very different side to it and frankly, it feels a bit empty when you’re used to the explosiveness of the original. While Sorry Not Sorry (Acoustic) was taken to the next level, this just proves that not every song is suitable for an acoustic version.

Tell Me You Love Me is considered to be Demi’s best work to date and I have to agree it shows yet another side of her as a person and as a singer. The R&B influences show off her more mature side and her lyrics explore more mature themes as well, and she still managed to explore a few complementing genres like trap and rock n’ roll. Yet it features more ballads than her previous albums and although she’s good at them, I missed a bit more fire in the second half. In the end, though, if you look at all the individual songs on the album, this album is quite the achievement. Bonus points for exploring personal struggles and dealing with past issues, Demi.

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarstarblankstar
4 stars

tmylm4

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