The teen starlet turned hard-knocks graduate and general multimedia juggernaut has put her new album, Demi, online a week in advance of its official May 14 street date. Read our review from the magazine on stands this Friday below.
Demi Lovato, Demi (Hollywood)
Unlike other ex–Disney princesses, Demi Lovato knows that growing up means more than just being old enough to do Jell-O shots. And two years ago, she proved it with her third album, Unbroken, which found her singing about self-cutting and abuse with a bravery that felt very adult. Since then, she’s also proved herself as the most mature judge on The X Factor. (Though, to be fair, Simon “Gonna Wear V-Neck T-Shirts Till I Die” Cowell and Britney “Just Smile Pretty” Spears weren’t major competition.) So it’s too bad that her new album, Demi, sounds like such a decisive return to teen pop. Transformed from an edgier young woman back into America’s sweetheart, she’s doing the fallen-Disney-idol thing in reverse.
Most of Lovato’s musical influences aren’t old enough to rent a car. The beach-ball bounce of “Something That We’re Not” could’ve been swiped from a One Direction album, and “Made in the USA” has Miley Cyrus’ name written all over it in lipstick. Worse yet, some lyrics yank back the curtain to expose the older songwriters behind these songs. Why is Lovato asking some guy to “take me home like you’re DiMaggio”? Wasn’t A-Rod available? Even the confessionals, like the pretty piano ballad “In Case,” don’t reveal much beyond the usual lovesick-girl struggles. It’s as if some PR rep went through her lyrics with a Sharpie, eliminating anything too personal, subbing
in words like “you” and “me” and “baby.” Eventually that Sharpie must’ve crossed out so much, it erased Lovato herself. C+—Melissa Maerz
* “Made in the USA”: Soaring Top 40 Pop
* “In Case”: A stripped-down ballad
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