Those Disney kids seem to go one of two ways when it comes to breaking into the music industry. They are either ridiculously successful – e.g. Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, or they fade into obscurity à la Hilary Duff. Demi Lovato seems to be on the verge of falling into the first category. And deservedly so, in my opinion.
Having broken onto the scene in 2008’s Camp Rock alongside the Jonas Brothers, going to rehab after a messy break-up with Joe Jonas, and having been a judge on American Idol, Lovato is pretty well-known – although until most recent single ‘Heart Attack’, not really for her music.
Starting off strongly with ‘Heart Attack’, DEMI seems promising, and you get the feeling that you’re in for an angsty slice of pop which Avril Lavigne would be envious of. Tracks such as ‘Without the Love’ add to this, as Demi questions “What good is a love song without the love?”, and can be seen as a comment on the lack of emotion in much of today’s music, or her ex, Joe Jonas.
However, there is just too much on DEMI which feels as if it has been written for someone else. ‘Neon Lights’ sounds as if Lovato has had Pixie Lott on repeat for days, and ‘Two Pieces’ is a prime example of how Lovato’s songs start off well, and gradually become weaker.
‘Nightingale’ begins to redeem DEMI. This stripped-back ballad highlights Lovato’s vocals and doesn’t go too overboard with instrumentation with its pizzicato strings and simple backing track, and is refreshing to hear after the heavily processed ‘Two Pieces’.
And just when you think it’s going so well, Cher Lloyd appears. Providing a completely irrelevant verse on ‘Really Don’t Care’, our “very own” Cher spoils what could potentially have been a really good song with lyrics such as “You should’ve picked that one he’s gooder than the other…” (Seriously?!)
Apart from this hiccup, there are very few bad songs on DEMI. It is clear that Lovato’s strength lies in ballads, with tracks such as ‘In Case’, ‘Skyscraper’, and ‘Nightingale’ showing that simplicity is key, and will be what distinguishes Lovato as a stand-out artist in her own right.
The album has been cleverly structured so that the weakest tracks are in the middle, so you’ve forgotten the Cher Lloyd monstrosity by the time you’ve reached ‘Shouldn’t Come Back’ and ‘Warrior’ and recent single ‘Give Your Heart a Break’. True, there are some songs recycled from earlier albums, but they fit DEMI well, and final song ‘Skyscraper’ is uplifting, and a perfect end to the album.
Overall, a very good effort from the Disney star, which will hopefully elevate her to ‘Skyscraper’ status.