Demi Lovato: Confident

Posted November 7, 2015 by in Pop



2.5/ 5


Producer: , , ,
Label: , ,
Genre: Pop
Producer: Mitch Allan, Babydaddy, Johan Carlsson, Peter Carlsson, Jason Evigan, Carl Falk Ilya, Steve Mac, Max Martin, Ali Payami, Laleh Pourkarim Rami, Stargate, Gustaf Thörn
Label: Safehouse, Hollywood, Island
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 38:59
Release Date: 16 October 2015
Spin This: "Cool for the Summer," "Father"


Ballads packed at the end stretches her reach in songstress field


Many of the songs sound like carved out copy-and-paste templates of previous hits, while lacking strong, memorable melodies

Lovato tries to jump in fast lane of growth, ambition on new record. Keyword: Try

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Lovato tries to jump in fast lane of growth, ambition on new record. Keyword: Try

Former child star and Disney alum Demi Lovato has been really struggling to get the music world’s attention. She wants to be taken seriously. Sob stories of not getting Grammy nods actually preface the dropping of her latest album, Confident.  But she’s putting the pity party aside and going for an artistic breakthrough or makeover for this record. Photos of her re-imagined as a sexy Katy Perry wannabe are already leading the promo campaign. The lead single “Cool for the Summer” lyrically sounds like it’s paying homage to Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” as she works up a little lesbian Morse code (“Got a taste for the cherry”). Even the album cover is sleeked down with Maxim hotness. The new Demi (or Demi 2.0) follows in the tracks of Nick Jonas 2.0, who revealed a darker, serious, urban-aimed self-titled LP along with a super, sexy, chiseled figure in 2014, but it doesn’t quite march to the same rhythm.

Confident, anchored by production work by Max Martin, Ilya, StarGate and emerging pro Ali Payami, drops Lovato into edgy rock-glossed pop while enforcing a chockful of robust teen spirit and cocky femininity into much of the storyline. But the innovation used here, particularly on the label’s fangled lead singles, are pale imitations of what’s been done. The title cut opens with faux horns so reminiscent of a hip-hop-meets-Rocky entrance, then it curtails into burlesque-era Christina Aguilera. Heck, it almost sounds like a Maybelline ad. The opening lines of the chorus on “Cool for the Summer” lifts off with the same lemon-lime flavor of Nicki Minaj/David Guetta’s “Turn Me On,” but lacks its attitude due to the sandy Grand Theft Auto backdrop embedded in the music. It tries so hard to reach for a Summer Anthem seal of approval, even when she kicks into Ariana Grande mode a la “Break Free,” but surrenders in its pool of strange artistic gerrymandering. It sounds way too familiar, like everything that’s been done before, but bereaved with a dull beige sepia. “Old Ways” traces mid-tempo Rihanna, but lacks the pop factor. On “Kingdom Come,” Lovato is only propped on production leftovers stripped from Sia’s “Chandelier.” Her new friend Iggy Azalea jumps in halfway into the subpar track, but her rhymes come a little too late.

Although Lovato wants to walk the line of Katy Perry on this round, there’s nothing on here that takes off with the reigning pop sense of Katy Perry. The production value is there, but the songs are mostly forgettable. Thankfully Demi finds a place of comfort on the ballads, which are tucked in the back of the disc. “Wildfire” puts her in a believable Lana Del Ray universe, while “Lionheart” and the emotional “Father” mounts her up like a golden AC balladeer.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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