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Aggrievedness suits Demi Lovato well; always has. In her Disney days, she was — relatively speaking — the hellion of the crew, interested in abraded rock, tough-girl postures and smiles that cracked to reveal sneers.
Her years since teen-idol days have been chaotic: some great music and some not-so-great music, public struggles with bulimia and cutting, and in her latest phase, a role as empowerer in chief on the judging panel of “The X Factor.” Compared to the near-catatonic Britney Spears, Ms. Lovato was refreshingly direct, stern when she needed to be, but more often a source of wisdom. She was also a surprisingly good foil for Simon Cowell, whose signature disdain rolls off Ms. Lovato like so much rain and whom Ms. Lovato rightly sees as a bloated target, not an unstoppable monster.
She has dealt with far worse: that is clear from her music, which has been credibly tense and wounded almost from the start, a tone that continues unabated and even enhanced on “Demi,” her often impressive fourth album. Produced by the Suspex, the duo of Mitch Allan and Jason Evigan, it smartly abandons the pop-R&B songs of her last album, “Unbroken” — easily her shakiest to date — and recasts Ms. Lovato, rightly, in the Kelly Clarkson mold of big-throated singers who have had quite enough, thank you very much.
Unlike Ms. Clarkson, though, Ms. Lovato’s armor is not primarily vocal (though when she abandons the heavy vocal processing, she sings with firmness and an evident touch of vulnerability). “Heart Attack,” the single, has Ms. Clarkson’s familiar loud-soft pop-rock dynamics, matched with Ms. Lovato’s familiar self-doubt: “Never had trouble getting what I want/but when it comes to you I’m never good enough.” And throughout this album, from the chipper “Really Don’t Care” to the theatrical “Warrior,” to the bruising “Fire Starter,” she’s showing off her thick skin.
The production, too, is part of that skin, and it’s generally when it’s stripped down that Ms. Lovato confesses to any weaknesses, as on “Shouldn’t Come Back,” the latest in a suite of songs aimed at her estranged father, and also on the outstanding “In Case,” strikingly written by Priscilla Renea and Emanuel Kiriakou, which echoes the pomp of her 2011 hit “Skyscraper.” It places Ms. Lovato somewhere unusual: at someone else’s mercy — “Strong enough to leave you, but weak enough to need you.”
Ms. Lovato wears that frailty well, but not for long. A few songs later is the album’s other highlight, the breezy and tart “Something That We’re Not.” It’s a sign of pop’s out-of-whack gender relations that a song like this, in which an empowered woman blows off a guy who wants more, is so rare and therefore so bracing. “Don’t introduce me to any of your friends,” she commands. “Delete my number, don’t call me again/We had some fun but now it’s gonna end.” No arguments here. JON CARAMANICA
Demi Lovato’s tracklisting for her upcoming album “Demi” just released. The album will include her latest single, a collab with Cher Lloyd, and other songs we are dying to hear!
1. Heart Attack
2. Made in the USA
3. Without the Love
4. Neon Lights
5. Two Pieces
7. In Case
8. Really Don’t Care (feat. Cher Lloyd)
9. Fire Starter
10. Something That We’re Not
11. Never Been Hurt
12. Shouldn’t Come Back
Demi Lovato will return next month with her fourth studio album, as “Demi” has been slated to hit stores on May 14 through Hollywood Records. On Monday (Apr. 1), the album’s release date and cover art — which shows a dead-serious Lovato covered in silver body paint — were officially unveiled.
The official music video for the album’s first single, “Heart Attack,” will premiere next Tuesday night (Apr. 9) on E! News. After the song scored Lovato’s biggest sales week for a single upon its debut in February, “Heart Attack” sits at No. 21 on the current Hot 100 chart.
“Demi” is the follow-up to 2011’s “Unbroken,” which has sold 448,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That album was led by the ballad “Skyscraper,” which gave Lovato her first Top 10 single, and also spawned the hit “Give Your Heart a Break,” which spent 32 weeks on the Hot 100 in 2012.
The Suspex, Ryan Tedder, Carl Falk, Jonas Jeberg, Matt Rad and Rami Yacoub are among the producers and writers with credits on “Demi.” Of the new album, Lovato says in a press statement, “It’s better than anything I have ever done! I experimented with a variety of different sounds and poured my heart into writing these songs. I’m so excited for everyone to finally get the chance to hear them!”
This week, Lovato kicks off an ambitious press run, stopping by “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Monday night, “Dancing With The Stars” on Tuesday, “Good Morning America” next Wednesday (Apr. 10) and “Kelly & Michael” next Thursday (Apr. 11). The 20-year-old pop star will also return as a judge on the U.S. version of “The X Factor” this fall.
Pre-orders for “Demi” begin on Tuesday in North America, and next Tuesday (Apr. 9) for the rest of the world.
As previously reported, “Harlem Shake,” the viral smash from Baauer, spends a third week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, although its massive streaming totals weaken almost by half. Who else shakes things up this week on the Hot 100 and other song charts?
— Demi Lovato: “Heart Attack” blasts in as the Hot 100’s top debut at No. 12, spurred by first-week sales of 215,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan, as it launches at No. 4 on Hot Digital Songs. The sum is the second-best this year for a song in its first week of release, trailing only Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” which arrived with 315,000 (Feb. 2). The lead single from her forthcoming fourth album also starts at No. 70 on Radio Songs (15 million, according to Nielsen BDS) and just below Streaming Songs (953,000, which includes plays of the song’s audio and lyric videos).
The debut of Demi Lovato’s official lyric video for her newest single “Heart Attack” leads to a 20-12 rise on the Social 50. The track was released via an interactive online campaign where fans unlocked the clip by tweeting the song’s lyrics along with the hashtag “#UnlockHeartAttack.” The video received nearly 500,000 views in the three days remaining in the charting week since its March 1 debut. The audio of the song, released to her VEVO page on February 25, has received over 3.7 million views to date. The push has helped Lovato gain 343,000 new fans overall during the week. “Heart Attack” debuts at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, with 215,000 digital copies sold according to Nielsen Soundscan.
“I think everyone comes to a point where they feel very vulnerable when falling in love and that’s what I’m talking about,” Lovato says about her new single.
Demi Lovato is looking for love. Or, at least she is on her new single, “Heart Attack.” While fans will have to wait until March 4 to hear the track, the singer told MTV News she isn’t afraid of showing the terrifying side of finding it. ” ‘Heart Attack,’ the single, is obviously coming out, I’m really excited. And the title is just about falling in love and taking that risk,” Lovato told MTV News on Thursday during the Topshop L.A. grand opening event, where she took the stage, broken leg and all.
Lovato has certainly touched on love in the past, giving fans insight into the good and bad of romance on her 2011 release, Unbroken. And this track will show off Lovato’s softer side. She added, “But, she’s terrified and, by ‘she,’ I mean me. But, I think everyone comes to a point where they feel very vulnerable in falling in love and that’s what I’m talking about.”
Lovato first announced her plans for the single earlier this week, giving fans a very short snippet of the up-tempo track, which will hit the streets in full next month when she stops by Ryan Seacrest’s 102.7 KIIS FM radio. “Heart Attack,” co-written by Lovato, Mitch Allan, Jason Evigan, Sean Douglas and Nikki Williams, is the first single off Demi’s forthcoming 2013 album release.
With no further information about her 2013 album (like a title, or a release date), Lovato, in a teaser trailer for it, did open up about what she’ll be talking about on it.
“For a while, I could tell that when people would talk to me, they knew my story. I think I’ve opened up more on this album. My life began to evolve and I started to grow,” she explained. “These are songs about the celebration of life and how rewarding it can be. This is what this album is about.”
Are you excited for new music from Demi? Tell us in the comments!
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