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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 19, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: New tracks show Demi Lovato’s musical growth

"Confident"

Demi Lovato

As the weather gets colder and people begin to bundle up with scarves and boots, Demi Lovato brings a major heatwave back with the release of her fifth studio album, “Confident.”

Released Oct. 16, Lovato’s latest work packs a hard punch as she steers away from her sugar-pop persona and delivers a set of raunchy, daring songs. The album’s title track says it all: Lyrics like “I used to hold my freak back/ Now I’m letting go/ I make my own choice/ B—h I run this show,” reveal an edgier, unapologetic version of Lovato that is very refreshing. The song’s instrumental blares with a hard drumline, and elongated trumpet sounds give off a power-hungry feel that matches the theme of the lyrics.

Lovato’s musical transformation is most evident in “Cool for the Summer,” the single that has been topping charts since July. While themes of self-love have been prevalent in most of Lovato’s previous works, there haven’t been songs quite like this that hold suggestive lyrics and risque themes. Lyrics like “Tell me what you want/ What you like/ It’s OK/ I’m a little curious, too” depict a more sexually experimental side of Lovato. The gritty guitar riffs complement Lovato’s powerful vocals, molding the single into an unabashed anthem that celebrates curiosity.

Power-ballads such as “Lionheart” and “Waitin for You” round out the album’s overall sound, incorporating hints of ’90s hip-hop and rhythm and blues influences that highlight Lovato’s powerful vocals. Yet the real standout is the last track, “Father,” which reveals a raw, vulnerable part of Lovato’s personal experiences. The song, which acts as a compelling elegy, shows off Lovato’s amazing vocal ability. As Lovato sings of forgiveness, one can hear her emotional susceptibility through the amount of energy and passion that she puts into her singing.

Mirroring Miley Cyrus’ “Can’t Be Tamed,” Lovato’s “Confident” acts as a rebellious act of finally honoring one’s true self, leaving listeners with an important question: “What’s wrong with being confident?”