Demi Lovato – Confident

October 2, 2016 at 5:29 PM | Posted in Demi Lovato, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

confident1ALBUM REVIEW
Demi Lovato – Confident

1. Confident
2. Cool For The Summer
3. Old Ways
4. For You
5. Stone Cold
6. Kingdom Come (feat. Iggy Azalea)
7. Waitin’ For You (feat. Sirah)
8. Wildfire
9. Lionheart
10. Yes
11. Father

♦ ♦ ♦

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Confident is the fifth studio album by American singer Demi Lovato, released on October 16, 2015. The album debuted at #1 in Canada, while reaching the top 10 in fifteen other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States.

 I love how Demi opens the album with this strong number, Confident, in which she sings ‘It’s time for me to take it // I’m the boss right now‘. Show them, girl. It’s a drum-line driven, tough track with some nice brassy elements and everything makes this song so worthy of being the title track. Demi definitely makes a statement here.

Then Cool For The Summer comes in, probably one of the hottest summer songs of 2015. It’s a nice blend, throwing in some edgy rock guitars and electronic arrangements as well. Some say this is Demi going back to her old sound, but I disagree. Of course it’s much more sexually suggestive, but musically this song sets itself apart from the rest. And I quite like it.

Old Ways is the first of a number of songs in this album in which the chorus is a nice instrumental breakdown, with great beats and something very addictive to it. I must say I respect Demi for addressing her rehab issues back in 2010 on this song, and how she’s saying she left it all behind. Great song.

I don’t think I’m the only one when I say For You is like a throwback to the sound on her previous album ‘Demi’. That being said, it’s not that it doesn’t belong on this album. Actually, it’s one of the strongest songs and I like how the verses are more quiet than the bombastic choruses. I guess it grew on me a LOT in the past year.

Ah, Stone Cold.. This sentimental ballad breaks my heart every time I hear it. Demi’s vocal performance is so raw and real, and I think she makes the message even more clear even for those who know what it’s like when someone you used to love moves on. The stripped down arrangement highlights everything perfectly and this is just so soulful and sad. In the best way possible.

Is it strange that I like Kingdom Come (feat. Iggy Azalea) so much? Just like Old Ways, it features a beat-driven, catchy instrumental break in the chorus that sounds a bit like trap music, something I seem to appreciate. It’s one of the songs I always put on repeat, and even though I’m probably alone in my opinion, not even Demi’s BFF Iggy can spoil that.

confident3I had never heard of Sirah, but Demi’s collaboration with her on Waitin’ For You is smashing. This song screams confidence, it’s assertive (maybe even a little aggressive at some points), and I love the arrangement. Sirah lifted this track to the next level with her performance and I would like to see these girls join forces again.

If I have to pick one song that I skip most often, it would be Wildfire. Not that it’s a bad song, not at all! Everytime that perfect whistle note near the end sends shivers up my spine (eat your heart out, Mariah), and it’s soothing in its own way. But maybe that quality makes it hard to compare it to the kickass songs that dominate the album.

Lionheart, then, is like the soundtrack to a Nicholas Sparks movie, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. I thought it was about one of Demi’s late dogs (I think it’s Buddy), which makes it so bittersweet I can’t even. Everything about this song, from the arrangement to Demi’s amazing vocals, is pure perfection.

Yes makes me think about my own fiancé, and I think everyone who’s in love can relate to the lyrics. I think this song made me realize I wanted to marry him eventually, so it holds a special place in my heart. What I like best next to the lyrics, is Demi’s voice. She has so much positive energy and that range is to die for. A-ma-zing.

If Stone Cold was an emotional tearjerker, Father is the other one. You´ll need tissues, trust me. Now, Demi´s father passed away in 2013 and their relationship was, so to say, troubled. Now this ballad, with piano and violins to make it even worse, shows Demi leaving everything behind. It breaks my heart to hear her sing ´I hope that heaven´s giving you a second chance´.

So I have wanted to review this album ever since it came out, but due to circumstances, here it is one year later. In the meantime, I have listened to it over and over again, so I probably know most (if not all) songs by heart. I’m in love with this album, and it’s so close to perfection it made me become even a bigger Lovatic than I already was. If you ask me, this is Demi’s best album to date, and I would be so happy if this is the style she has found for herself. It works so well for her! Keep that confidence coming Demi, it looks good on you.

Favorite songs: Confident | Cool For The Summer | For You | Stone Cold | Kingdom Come (feat. Iggy Azalea) | Waitin’ For You (feat. Sirah) | Lionhearts

OVERALL RATING
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5 stars

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Demi Lovato – Don’t Forget

November 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM | Posted in Demi Lovato | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Demi Lovato – Don’t Forget

1. La La Land
2. Get Back
3. Trainwreck
4. Party
5. On The Line (feat. The Jonas Brothers)
6. Don’t Forget
7. Gonna Get Caught
8. Two Worlds Collide
9. The Middle
10. Until You’re Mine
11. Believe In Me

♦ ♦ ♦

Don’t Forget is the debut album by American singer Demi Lovato, released on September 23, 2008. The album peaked at #2 on the US Billboard 200 and received a Gold Certification in the United States.

So let’s go back to 2008 when Demi was just a mini-Demi and she was a pop/rock artist. La La Land is a very good song to kick off the album with since it deals with her not wanting to be famous as ‘Sonny Munroe’ on the Disney TV show ‘Sonny With A Chance’. It’s a very strong and heavy song with some punk rock elements, especially near the end of the song. It also instantly shows the amazing set of pipes Demi has. It’s one of my favorite ‘early-Demi songs’!

So this album is filled with guitar-driven pop/rock songs that are all quite catchy and stuff, so sometimes I can cut a little more to the chase than I normally do. Get Back is one of those infectuous songs with a very memorable chorus that is bound to stay with you after just one listen. It doesn’t hold back on the heaviness that La La Land had either, it’s the typical ‘former Disney star rock song’ but that doesn’t make it less enjoyable!

Trainwreck takes it a little easier than the previous two tracks, but just slightly. It also comes off as a bit lighter even though the lyrics aren’t that uplifting. Demi’s vocals are less focused on the belting here for most of the time, showing off she sounds great with ‘normal singing’ as well. Her vocals near the end of the song are impressingly vulnerable even, ending the song on a more peaceful note for a change.

Okay now I expect Party to be quite the superficial and meaningless song when it comes to the lyrical content, but at least the music is very good. It’s funkier and more oldschool, somehow reminding me of some 1960s rock music that the Beatles did. Demi’s vocals are very solid belting out the lyrics in the chorus, while keeping it slick and smaller in the verses. I admit it, it’s not as bad as I expected.

On The Line (feat. The Jonas Brothers) is a collaboration that just had to happen on this album because 1. Demi used to date Joe, and 2. JB co-wrote almost all the songs on the album. Most of the time this is Demi and Nick singing together with some occassional vocals by Joe, but they all sound great together and really nailed their performances. JB also knew how to make the music sound great since this song just kicks major ass, also because of the lyrics.

Then we get into the title track, which is also the most emotional and personal track on the album. Don’t Forget used to be the only Demi song I knew back in the day, before I discovered how awesome she really is. But still I kept on putting this song on replay because it’s one of her best early efforts. Starting off small and adding more drums and guitars to the arrangement, before finally letting everything go and going into the last chorus full speed ahead. This song features Demi’s best vocals on the entire album, make sure you listen to this one.

Heading straight back into the upbeat pop/rock songs, or rather power-pop when it comes to this next one, we have Gonna Get Caught. It’s the typical ‘f*ck my ex-boyfriend’ song every Demi album up to now has (‘Unbroken’, ‘Really Don’t Care’, just to name a few) and it just takes you along for the ride. You either enjoy the fact that it’s so driven or criticize it for being quite the rushed song.

Two Worlds Collide immediately stands out for being in triple time, and the fact that this song was written for (then?) BFF Selena Gomez makes it very cute. This track incorporates some more strings in the background while the percussion and electric guitars are also very present, so this song is both on the relaxed side as the more bombastic side. It’s nice, nothing special.

The Middle has one powerful advantage: Demi’s vocals. Once you’ve gotten to this one after 8 tracks that all follow the same musical style and pattern, this is just another pop/rock song that is trying to blow you away with a lot of ‘in your face’ stuff. Just like I said with the previous songs, just go with it and you may like it (like I do), or just don’t swallow this. Your pick.

Until You’re Mine has a very interesting transition from verse to chorus. Again, triple time (which I always like), but the verses are more emotional and laid back, while the chorus features some very strange percussion that just doesn’t fit the overall sound of the rest of the song. It’s just a little too much to have a kick drum on every count, but that could just be my opinion in this case. Nonetheless, nothing wrong with the rest of the song, and especially not the vocals.

Closing the album already, we have Believe In Me. This last song finally opens with a piano, after which some soft percussion and an acoustic guitar mix in. For a change, this is not just some catchy song but it finally has a little depth and music that makes it more of a power ballad. I really like the melodies in this song, especially in the chorus. One of the better songs on the albums and it was a good strategy to put this one last on the tracklist so this stays with you after the album is over.

So basically I have only one thing to say about this album: if you’re a Demi fan or if you’re not allergic to people like the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus’ earlier work and such (you might instantly know what I’m talking about), then you’re bound to like this album. Probably you’re not gonna love it, but still. In my case, I liked how catchy and driven most of the songs are, but there’s constantly something missing. I’m missing a little creativity and depth here, but hey, the girl was only 16 when this came out. In just two/three years Demi learned how to embrace more versatility and depth in her music and lyrics, but that was still in the future. Enjoyable album, good first effort, but thank god she strayed from this in the end.

Favorite tracks: La La Land | Get Back | On The Line (feat. The Jonas Brothers) | Don’t Forget | Two Worlds Collide | Believe In Me

OVERALL RATING
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3½ stars

Demi Lovato – Demi

May 24, 2013 at 3:38 PM | Posted in Demi Lovato | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Demi Lovato – Demi

1. Heart Attack
2. Made In The USA
3. Without The Love
4. Neon Lights
5. Two Pieces
6. Nightingale
7. In Case
8. Really Don’t Care (feat. Cher Lloyd)
9. Fire Starter
10. Something That We’re Not
11. Never Been Hurt
12. Shouldn’t Come Back
13. Warrior

♦ ♦ ♦

Demi is the fourth studio album by American singer Demi Lovato, released on May 14, 2013. The album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 110,000 copies, becoming her best-selling debut week of her career. Its lead single “Heart Attack” debuted at number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

My goodness, I think I have played Heart Attack at least 10 times since yesterday evening when I first heard it. In my opinion, it’s the best single in Demi’s entire career and also the most catchy one. She has made good music before, but I don’t think I ever heard her tackle electropop like this. It has already been compared to Kelly Clarkson’s music, but I enjoyed this so much more. It’s filled with hard beats and synths and Demi’s vocals are amazing, especially when she sings ‘I’m putting my defenses out // ‘Cause I don’t wanna fall in love // If I ever did that, I think I’d have a heart attack‘.

Made In The USA has a lighter feel than the first track and rumor has it that this will be the second single (yes please!). Even though there are still some loud beats and some synths to make it a little bit electropop, the acoustic guitars and bouncy quality make it more poppy. Demi’s vocal range spans from some amazing lower notes to the same kind of high notes she blurted out so much in the previous track. Caution: addictive track.

What good is a love song without the love?‘, that’s what Without The Love is about. As a real pop track and a midtempo one, it’s also one of the lighter tracks with still a little spice to it. The guitars are even more prominent here and the melodies are very catchy again, especially the melody in the chorus. Demi sings a lot of high notes again, and although she’s a bit straining in the bridge she did a really good job on this one too.

Neon Lights is the first club banger on the album, like the title already suggests in my opinion. One thing I can’t figure out though: the track was written and produced by Ryan Tedder, but it reminds me of another well known dance song. Can’t seem to think of which one it is, but sure, this track is very catchy and memorable because of the unknown comparison. It even takes on some dubstep elements, so this is definitely one of Demi’s more aggressive tracks.

Moving on to the ballads, Two Pieces is a rather interesting one. Its verses are in triple time and the first one already starts off with this amazing marching band sound, but when you get used to it it becomes double time again for the choruses. It’s pretty confusing and I need to adapt to it every time the changes come around, but the overall sound isn’t affected by it. It’s actually not even a real ballad, more a power ballad with some kick to it, but it sticks with you anyway.

Nightingale is the first piano ballad on the album and the first to really impress me with the emotional approach. While the rest of the tracks before this one were all very catchy and therefore memorable, this is the first track to be called ‘pretty’ both because of its arrangement that keeps building around the piano music and the lyrical content. Demi’s vocals have a lot of power and emotion in them, it’s such a pleasure listening to her voice in this track.

Another piano ballad, but one of an entirely different calibre, is In Case. It has the same powerful approach when it comes to the vocals, but the music is centered around the piano only this time. Because it’s just the piano accompanying her this time, the focus is even more on Demi’s voice and the lyrics. It’s a simple ballad, but very effective because of that. I don’t think I can say much more about it, other than that it’s bound to grab you.

Really Don’t Care (feat. Chery Lloyd) is a very playful uptempo track that leaves the ballad section behind us and brings back the fun that surrounded tracks like Made In The USA and Neon Lights. Where other tracks are about longing for love, this one lives up to its title. It’s like the empowerment track of the entire album, and Cher Lloyd attributes to that very well with her raps in the bridge. Usually collabs don’t add much to a track, this one does.

Just like Really Don’t Care, Fire Starter is all about empowerment, but this time it’s the amazing superwoman theme: ‘There’s an S under my clothes // On my chest where nobody else can see‘. Its uplifting dance music is another huge step away from what Demi used to do, and even though the first half of the album was filled with impressive uptempo dance tracks, this one doesn’t fail to be unique. I especially loved this one.

Something That We’re Not combines the dance beats and synths with guitars just like Made In The USA did. Right about this time, I was wondering if the uptempo tracks could still be special and one of a kind, but this track proves that they can still be. There are some really catchy melodies in this song, and I laughed so hard when Demi says ‘You think we’re something that we’re….. Not gonna happen dude‘. Extra points for the humor.

Never Been Hurt is an interesting track because of something I’d like to call ‘hidden complexity’. The heavy uptempo dance style of the song seems like another track that could easily be a filler, but Demi’s vocal acrobatics in some parts of the song make it so complex on its own. The semi-dubstep elements fit the mood perfectly, and although dubstep totally isn’t original anymore if you ask me, Demi made the best of it with this track.

I already thought Shouldn’t Come Back was gonna be a ballad after all those kick ass uptempo tracks. It’s different from In Case and such because of the focus on the acoustic guitar and Demi’s softer vocals. For the first time on the album she keeps the volume and pitch down a lot, which shows a whole different side of her that’s more emotional. It’s perfect near the end of the album as well.

Last but not least, Warrior is supposed to be a sequel to Skyscraper (a track on her previous album) and if you listen closely to the lyrics, it’s also the most personal track on the album. Most people know what Demi has gone through (depression, automutilation, drug problems and struggles with bulimia), so to hear her sing about how she’s a warrior with thicker skin now brings a huge tear to my eyes. I don’t know if this song is supposed to be about those experiences, but it sure makes me think about them. The piano arrangement together with the strings and all the effort Demi puts into her voice makes for the best ballad on the album. Great way to close it.

I never though Demi Lovato could add me to her fanbase after listening to this album. She’s not among the typical artists that are featured on this blog, but as soon as I heard the album I knew I was crazy about it and I had to share this with everyone. There is not a single bad track on this album, how amazing is that? It covers all kinds of topics, like fear of love, longing for it, self-empowerment and moving on, accompanied by multiple musical genres. What I love about this album is that Demi moved from pop/rock music to more electropop sounds in the best way possible, and she has matured vocals to match it all. Maybe this album will be featured in the ‘Best of 2013’ series, who knows?!

Favorite tracks: Heart Attack | Made In The USA | Without The Love | Neon Lights | Nightingale | In Case | Really Don’t Care (feat. Cher Lloyd) | Fire Starter | Something That We’re Not | Warrior

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarstarstar
5 stars

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