Demi Lovato returns to her pop-punk roots with 'Holy Fvck'

Tthe audience watched Demi Lovato underwent many different reinventions over the course of his career. She started out as a Disney darling Dream with a chance and several Disney Channel Original Movies such as Camp Rock and Protecting the princess program. In 2008, she released her debut album, Do not forget— a pop-rock record that featured her powerful vocals on songs like “La La Land” and “Trainwreck,” as well as the title track. It starts again in 2009 was another rock forward album released with Hollywood Records (still part of Disney machine).

In 2010, Lovato retreated from the public eye and her entire career changed. She went from making pop rock songs about boys and heartbreak to speaking openly about her mental health issues, her eating disorder and dealing with substance abuse both in interviews and song lyrics. She became a beacon of hope for young people facing similar challenges, and when she returned with her next series of albums over the next decade, she delivered that message through a variety of musical genres ranging from R&B to dance-pop to hip-hop. .

Lovato assured fans that after opening up about these struggles, she is unbroken and confident. She sought love after two very public failed relationships and tried to overcome the hype that came along with being outdoors fighting drug abuse— to the point where she came near death. Demi has been very open about how her time at Disney was traumatic in many ways, feeling like a product of a machine that chewed her up, spat her out, then turned her back on her. So it makes sense that if the pop-punk sound that was her signature at the time evoked memories of darker days, she would avoid returning to that sound.

But on her eighth studio album, Holy Fvck!issued on August 19, it relies on this darkness and embraces the genre that launched her music career. And the album makes it clear that pop-punk is Lovato’s best vehicle: it allows her to drive home the idea that she doesn’t take herself too seriously, while making genuinely touching music.

Here are our takeaways from this latest release.

Demi returns to her pop-rock roots, but digs even deeper/Demi Lovato 

Lovato’s latest project, 2021 Dancing with the Devil… The Art of Starting Over, had some highlights — like the emotional ballad “Anyone,” a plea for help — but the album itself wasn’t a pleasant sound. She struggled to combine the elements of her music that work best – impactful lyrics, great vocals and most importantly: that lack of self-seriousness.

On her comeback single, “SKIN OF MY TEETH,” released in June, she slams the metaphorical door between herself and the audience with the opening lyrics: “Demi’s leaving the clinic again/ when’s this shit gonna end?/ Sounds like a voice in my head/ I can’t believe I’m not dead.”

The album takes listeners through her emotions, which at first seem like rage, but turn out to be more layered and even melancholic. We hear Lovato talk about death more openly as she struggles with survivor’s guilt after almost dying from a 2018 drug relapse on DEAD FRIENDS, where she sings, “I danced with the devil/ I’ve been through hell and I don’t know why/ How am I different? I did and they didn’t and it doesn’t feel right to me.

On previous albums, Lovato had a knack for getting close to the microphone and singing softly, almost as if she was trying not to scare people off with her loud voice. Not so on this album: she’s fully embraced the emo, pop-punk aesthetic, screaming from the mountaintops, using every ounce of energy to go wild and show off her exuberance.

She talks quite openly about painful past relationships/Demi Lovato 

The best song on the album, hands down, is “29” – lyrically, vocally, in every way. It’s the perfect encapsulation of what this album sets out to do: to make a point no matter who Lovato pissed off in the process. Although it is not confirmed that it is about her relationship with the ex That 70’s Show actor Wilmer Valderrama, the details strongly suggest so, as Lovato, now 29, sings about her 12-year split with a former partner.

“Just five years a bleeder/ Student and a teacher/ Far from innocent/ What the hell is consent?/ The numbers told you not to/ But that didn’t stop you,” she sings in the first verse. In the second verse, she digs deeper: “I see you’re quite a collector/ Yeah, you’re 12 years older than her/ Maybe it doesn’t matter now/ But I damn well know better.” Although she there is neither confirmed nor denied this, the lyrics seem to refer to her ex’s current relationship with his fiancee, model Amanda Pacheco, who is 12 years his junior.

The songs are lyrically serious, but often sonically light/Demi Lovato 

In 2017 Tell me you love me, Lovato tried her hand at being more open about her sexuality with songs like “Concentrate” and “Sexy Dirty Love,” but the lyrics were superficial at best. They didn’t get to her wants, needs and wants as a sexual being, nor did the songs on this album explore the conflicting emotions that arise from her Christian education.

Lovato explores these themes further on the tongue-in-cheek “COME TOGETHER.” “Bring me closer than ever/ We both want it but we won’t give up/ And we could make it last forever/ But heaven’s even better when we get together,” she sings. These lyrics can be interpreted as a love song about coming together in a relationship, but there’s a pretty clear double meaning about climaxing together sexually. She traverses uncharted waters as she navigates the masturbation of “HEAVEN”. IN Abstract verified as “genius”.she writes, “Growing up, I was often ashamed of my religion for exploring, and I just wanted to write a song about it because I was in that place where I was angry.”

But Lovato didn’t fail to have fun with songs like “BONES,” where she describes the feeling of wanting to jump someone’s bones, backed by catchy guitar moves. Although the majority of the album features hardcore production, guitars and drums, Lovato is careful to keep it light enough not to overburden.

Her voice shines even when her lyrics are lacking/ Demi Lovato

Lovato’s voice has stood out from most of her peers since she was a Disney teenager. She can soar, she can hit high notes while baring her raw emotions that do some work to smooth out even the weakest of lyrics. On Holy Fvck, there are a few duds that don’t carry the emotional punch of the others, but Lovato’s performance saves these songs from being completely skippable. Her vocals elevate the two closing tracks, “FEED” and “4 EVER 4 ME,” which otherwise fall flat. The same can be said for “CITY OF ANGELS,” a love letter to Los Angeles that’s dry in its lyrical content, but Lovato’s high note in the song’s final chorus is stunning.

Creating a body of work takes time, but Lovato’s work is enhanced by the fearlessness with which she channels her struggles into her songs and uses the process of creation as a way to cope. It’s refreshing to see her put her demons to the ground with a smile on her face, all the while paying homage to where she came from – even if it annoys her.

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