2010 has been a tough year for Demi Lovato. On the surface, it might’ve seemed like she had it all; her own TV show, a hugely successful music career, a Jonas Brother boyfriend. Her image certainly conveyed the happy, wholesome teenager everyone thought she was. You’d be forgiven, then, for thinking there was no more than what meets the eye in Demi Lovato. She was a “Disney teen queen,” after all, and they were little more than programmed products to fit the ideals of parent-approved role models, right? Well, no.
After shocking bouts of violent outbursts, and leaked provacative images, Demi Lovato was admitted to a treatment center. She was ultimately diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and, after nearly 4 months of treatment, she was released in January 2011, when it was also announced she would no longer be taking part in Sonny with a Chance, a sitcom she fronted. After all, she wasn’t the perfect, bubbly teenage girl everyone thought she was, she was a damaged human being with baggage. She was one of us.
With an incredible voice and two great albums under her belt, she reportedly headed into studio right after being discharged, a smart move on her end. She had months of experiences to write and sing about. How well would they translate to song, though? Well, based on “Skyscraper,” the first offering from her upcoming third album, they translated fantastically.
Co-written by Estonian “bubblegoth” singer, Kerli, and producer, Toby Gad (Selena Gomez “A Year Without Rain”, Fergie “Big Girls Don’t Cry”), “Skyscraper” seems like it was tailor made for Demi. With heartbreaking, yet optimistic lyrics placed over minimal yet emotionally effective production, the song seemed like the perfect opportunity for Lovato to emote, and emote, she certainly does.
“Skies are crying, I am watching,” she whispers in the first verse. “Catching teardrops in my hands.” Strangely befitting, she sounds vulnerable, almost broken, over a bare, piano-only backdrop. As the second verse resounds (“As the smoke clears, I awaken,”) she’s already regained most of her confidence and composure as the beat picks up, yet there’s still a hint of fragility in her voice, which diminishes as the song goes on. Until we reach the finale, that is; the final chorus.
The chorus in “Skyscraper” is arguably the best thing about the song. The creme de la creme, if you will. Heartbreaking yet optimistic, catchy yet powerful in substance, it stays with you for all the right reasons. “You can take everything I have, you can break everything I am, like I’m made of glass, like I’m made of paper,” she dares us. “Go on and try to bring me down, I will be rising from the ground,” she then proclaims. “Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper.” The final rendition, however, is all the more mesmerizing. Openly weeping by the end of the song, it gives Lovato the edge to transform from Disney princess into fully-fledged, true musician.
“Skyscraper” is a triumph for Demi Lovato in every sense; a triumphant return to the music industry, a triumphant return to prominence, and, above all, a triumphant emergence from the ashes.