‘Demi’ Is Nothing New

Courtesy of Hollywood Records

Courtesy of Hollywood Records

Since her Disney fiasco, Demi Lovato has been tugging on the public’s hearts as a story of recovery and comeback. Her album “Unbroken,” which was released two years ago, shared a story of resilience and rebirth, but with the release of “Demi,” Lovato exposes herself as complete and having nothing left of which to cleanse herself.

This newest album is Lovato’s fourth, and this is not one you should judge by its cover. As I gaze at a bare-shouldered Demi clutching her face in a Rhianna-esque way, with her hair completely gelled away from her face, a subtle cross tattoo on her right hand along with the dark nail polish and lipstick, I had expected a new, hard Demi; a complete transformation from sweetheart to hardened woman, but Demi’s music completely shatters this new hard vibe portrayed in her cover.

The album opens with Demi’s newest radio hit, “Heart Attack,” which I do admit has a hot, sizzling quality that is a potential summer jam song, but following this performance, my warm summer nights were attacked by a cold front.

Demi’s “Made in the USA” reminded me of Miley Cyrus. It seemed as if my expectations for a reborn Demi were shattered by her throngs of pre-teen fans. This song, as well as many that followed, made me feel as if I was listening to any other Disney actress-turned-miraculously-into-pop-star-singer. Furthermore, the message of “Made in the USA” lacked any substance. Listening to the country twang of the song made reminiscing of Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” easy, but the love story made it confusing, thus almost making it an attempt to make Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” universal to our great nation.

The next song was also a cheesy, Disney-like attempt at a broken relationship song with the unimaginative chorus, “What good is a love song without the love?” While somewhat catchy at parts, the song’s vocals are the exact same soaring, pleading Demi-like sound. Often, I like artists that have a consistent voice, but Demi’s is almost a carbon-copy version of any other one of her songs.

“Neon Lights” has the same voice climb as “Heart Attack” with a hyped techno breakdown that sounds like other mainstream pop songs.

The sassy “Really Don’t Care” may have stood a chance if Icona Pop “I Love It” wasn’t such a grittier and overall superior composition of the same message. Of course, looking past the overtly teeny-bopper songs, Demi shines in the ballads like “Nightingale” with haunting piano coupled with Demi’s raw voice.

“Warrior” put me in mind of a young Christina Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson. Lovato claimed to have had a hand in writing all the songs. In terms of lyrics, I had some issues, as the songs were very shallow and the ideas all revolved around a male character, lover, broken relationship, etc. I thought this album was named “Demi,” not “Demi’s Past Relationships.” I wanted to see more of the singer and less of her Taylor Swift-like scenarios.

If you’re looking for a summer album, this may be a potential. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be enough perfect, warm summer-like medium. Demi’s career may have survived some fires, but she has yet to reach a new phoenix-like identity as her cover portrays because she still holds onto her Disney fan base and roots for safety.

Only recommended if you can stand being beat over the head with break-up lyrics.