Yesterday Demi Lovato released her fourth studio album, “Demi,” and Push Play & Listen has decided to review the album for all of its readers. Lovato’s last release, “Unbroken,” introduced a more mature R&B sound. Lovato builds on her maturity in this album that includes meaningful ballads, break up songs, and fun pop songs that will sure to meet her fans approval and may make her some new ones.
“Heart Attack” is the album’s lead single. It contains a catchy beat and shows off Lovato’s amazing range, while providing a contagious fierce attitude. The lyrics tell the story of an independent girl – one who’s used to playing the boys “like a ken doll” – falling in love.
The bridge of the song proves to be the stand out part of the track, especially the three part harmony that breaks out on the word flames. It’s a great, catchy, upbeat song to lead the album with.
Made In The USA
One of my favorites, “Made In The USA” brings a new sound to Lovato’s voice. The inflections and low register of her voice give the verses a R&B sound.
The track describes a cute relationship with lines like “You always read my mind like a letter/when I’m cold you’re there like a sweater.” To some it may just be another love song, but it’s the simply lyrics that give the song an “aww” factor without being too cliché that makes the song work.
The stand out performance here is Lovato’s voice at the end of each phrase. It sounds great without the illusion that she is trying to hard and it’s something that she hasn’t brought to the table before. It’s a great follow up to the pure diva pop of “Heart Attack”
Without The Love
The song is a mid-tempo ballad driven by the piano. A nice change after two uptempo, high energy hits. Lovato’s delivery is different than the previous two songs, which shows her diversity.
“Without The Love” is a story teller that has Lovato talking about a relationship that continues even though the love has gone.
“Neon Lights” features writing credits from One Republic’s frontman Ryan Tedder. The verses features Demi’s lower register and offers once again a different delivery. The chorus reminded me of Nicki Minaj’s hit “Starships.” The backing track of the song could easily make this a song that is featured in dance clubs around the nation.
The song does a great job at being a dance track and while Lovato’s voice sounds good, it is certainly not the best song on the album. It sort of loses itself when it follows songs like “Heart Attack” and “Make In The USA.”
There is always one song on just about every album that doesn’t measure up to the rest and “Neon Lights” seems to be that song for “Demi.” It’s not a bad song it’s just not as good as the rest.
The track opens up with army styles marching drums followed by a beautiful piano melody. Lovato’s voice here reminded me of Christina Perri and it works well. When her voice jumps into falsetto on certain words, it’s beautiful.
The verses’ lyrics give off a more indie feel and the chorus takes the song back to pop. Once again the chorus feature Lovato belong out at the top of her register and, while it’s something that she is good at, I wouldn’t mind seeing a different approach to a chorus.
“Nightingale” represents the first true ballad on the album. Once again we hear a lovely piano melody that perfectly accompanies Lovato’s low register. The piano is backed by a dynamic string arrangement that backs up the emotion in Lovato’s voice as she expresses her love for someone and asks them to be her nightingale.
The vibrato in her final plea at the end of the song showcases great emotion that really brings the song to life.
This song was co-written by Emanuel “Eman” Kiriakou, who has written hits such as “Tonight, Tonight” (Hot Chelle Rae), “Crush” (David Archuleta) and “It Girl” (Jason Derulo).
The song possesses a great melody and Lovato’s lower register that we finally see stay throughout the chorus. It is musically a very simple song, making it stand out among the heavily produced songs that precedes it. The natural cracks in Lovato’s voice evokes so much emotion, as she expresses that she will wait for a love that left her, just in case he decided to come back to her.
Really Don’t Care (Featuring Cher Lloyd)
The song was co-written by Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub and Savan Kotecha along with Demi Lovato and Cher Lloyd. The trio, (Falk, Yacoub and Kotecha) have worked a lot British boy band, One Direction’s writing their smash hits “What Makes You Beautiful,” “One Thing,” “Live While We’re Young” and “Kiss You.” Individually the three have worked with big names like Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood, Maroon 5 and Nicki Minaj.
Like the One Direction songs mentioned above, “Really Don’t Care” has a great beat and fast moving lyrics. Demi’s attitude makes the song as she tells an ex boyfriend that she doesn’t care about him anymore and that he had his shot but he lost it.
Cher Lloyd’s does a great job with her rap, which showcases Lloyds signature sound as well as add some humor with lines like, “Hey Demi, you picked the wrong lova/you shoulda picked that one he’s cuter than the other.” As always, it’s Lloyd’s conviction and attitude that makes her stand out and I wish that she had more time in the song.
“Fire Starter” displays a burning confidence in Lovato and is backed by a nice dance track. There’s a lot of conviction in Lovato’s voice as she states “I’m a Jane Bond putting all them guys to shame/I’m a wildcard and I’m gonna steal your game.” The track’s chorus reminds me of Lovato’s song “Unbroken” from her previous album of the same name.
Something That We’re Not
This is another song co-written by Kiriakou with Lovato, Andrew Goldstein and Kotecha. A song that could certainly be (and should be) the next single.
It displays yet another sound in Lovato’s voice as she talks about a boy who thinks they are in love when Lovato isn’t into it. The chorus is catchy and playful and brings out the confidence of Lovato’s voice. I can imagine that this will be a great song to watch Lovato perform live because of the high energy and attitude it brings.
It’s a song that I found myself tapping my foot to and smiling at the lyrics that are meant to give this guy a hint that he needs to back off, a situation that listeners may relate to.
Never Been Hurt
There is a haunting sound to Lovato’s voice in “Never Been Hurt.” The theme of the song is similar as her song “Unbroken.” It expresses that she will love her boyfriend like she’s “never been hurt.” It is a good song but it’s a hard follow after “Something That We’re Not.”
Shouldn’t Come Back
Another song written by trio Falk, Yacoub and Kotecha, as well as Lovato. It’s a ballad driven by guitar.
Lovato uses the simplicity in her voice to give it a sweet ring as she tells a boy that maybe he shouldn’t come back to her. The low register here is great and stays throughout the whole song.
It’s simple ballads like this that remind people just how great and dynamic Lovato’s voice is.
Another Kiriakou number. “Warrior” is a strong ballad driven my the piano. It is the best ballad on the record, but is closely followed by “In Case.”
Lovato’s delivery makes this song sound like the most personal song for her on the album. There is so much conviction in her voice that it is hard not to make the connection to the personal battles that Lovato has overcome in the last couple of years.
This is the kind of simply honest song that many fans cling to. In my personal opinion I think it would have been a great album title track because it is so empowering and does a great job at embodying Lovato.
I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me (Target Bonus Track)
This is the most acoustic, raw sounding track on the album. An entirely acoustic song is just what this album needed. I’m a sucker for acoustic so I believe that it could have replaced “Neon Lights.” I encourage everyone who want’s to by Lovato’s record to make sure to get this song because it really rounds out the diversity of the album.
“I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me,” much like the title suggests, is a song about conflicted feelings toward a relationship and much like Lovato’s song “Catch Me,” Lovato will make a decision about what to do by the end of the song. It’s a great vocal performance as well.
Overall, Lovato didn’t disappoint. This album builds where “Unbroken” left off. She continues to mature her sound and make music that truly represents her.
“Demi” is a well rounded album that showcases the many qualities in Lovato’s voice. I believe based on Lovato’s dedicated fanbase and the positive reviews of “Heart Attack” that “Demi” will debut high on the Billboard 200 chart.