Rehab saved Lovato, but not her music

By on September 28, 2011

There are a couple of things that may throw you off when you first listen to Demi Lovato’s new No. 1 album “Unbroken.” First, any connection to Lovato’s previous work is severely muted. Second, the album’s powerhouse first single, “Skyscraper,” stands alone.

The album is confusing. Where is the rocker girl fans fell in love with? While listening to the album, I can’t help but suspect that an ulterior motive accompanied Lovato in the recording studio: record sales. In a recent interview with MTV, Lovato expressed a desire to “make more radio-friendly music.” While she definitely succeeded in accomplishing this goal, she managed to blend in with half the music that is already mass-produced.

“Who’s that boy?/Wanna take you home/And get you all alone,” Lovato sings, to which my response is, wait a minute … is this a Demi album I’m listening to, or did I accidentally download “Christina Aguilera” circa 1999?

Hear me out: I am not chastising Lovato for going mainstream. I’m just confused. I loved the sassy way Lovato’s sophomore album, “Here We Go Again,” called out the heartless players that cheated on her. I loved how the song “La La Land” from her first album, “Don’t Forget,” pledged that Hollywood would never change this Texas native.

“Unbroken” is currently No. 1 on the iTunes download charts, but it’s doubtful that the quality of music is what’s propelling the album to such great reception. It’s the curiosity and die-hard support of fans, otherwise known as “Lovatics,” which is circulating buzz and soliciting downloads.

Lovato’s very public breakdown last summer caused an increased level of hype over her post-rehab album. But the album itself, material-wise, doesn’t live up to the buildup that her confessed bulimia, anorexia and cutting created.

“Unbroken” was Lovato’s chance to share her experiences and difficult times with fans who supported her during her rehab. While “Skyscraper” demonstrates this emotional journey, the rest of the tracks do nothing proactive except demonstrate having a good time in the club.

For Lovato’s fans, this may seem … out of place.

“Unbroken” is a mixture between the pop anthems that Lovato sang as her character Sonny on the Disney Channel show “Sonny With a Chance” and “What A Girl Wants.” While “Skyscraper” and “For the Love of a Daughter” express an older, more mature Lovato, the rest of the tracks are only appropriate while getting ready to go out on a Friday night. In a word? Disappointing.

Comments

About Stephanie Osmanski

13 Comments

  1. James

    September 28, 2011 at 9:16 am

    apparently the writers of this article are morons. I can tell from you guys that you have no idea what your talking about.

  2. Mani

    September 28, 2011 at 9:29 am

    So you didn’t hear Fix a heart or Lightweight? You can’t get much more sharing than in these two songs. My love is like a star has so much soul in it. Real life and mistake are excellent. So what if she wants some fun songs too? We can’t sit around listening to sad songs all the time, what would parties and clubs be like! :)

  3. reader

    September 28, 2011 at 11:56 am

    No one wants to hear a whole album full of sad songs, there needs to be a balance

  4. Georgia

    September 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I’m one of those die-hard Lovatics. I honestly fell in love with Don’t Forget back in 08 because I could relate to that album so much and I adored Here We Go Again. I would of personally preferred it if she stayed on track with her pop-rock sound but if she wants to change then that’s entirely her choice. As for any motive she may have behind changing her sound, well – that’s up for debate. I don’t dislike Unbroken but it’s just different and I don’t feel like us Lovatics have a particular genre we can squeeze ourselves into because of it. But instead of slating her for having a mix of styles on this record I think she should of taken an I Am Sasha Fierce turn and done perhaps one record of dance-y tracks and done another focusing more on the journey she’s been on this past year. But that’s just my opinion and I still fully support her, she’s a very brave and inspiring girl who has unbelievable amounts of talent and such a courageous story at such a young age. I hope to be as strong as her when I’m her age.

  5. reader II

    September 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I totally disagree with this article. Demi’s new album is trully some of the greates work I’ve heard her do since the beginning of her career. She displays a wider range in this album. I personally enjoy the variety and I like just about every song on the album (not to mention she has a great message). Demi, you keep on rocking your new sound…

  6. hannah

    September 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    hey shut up …. her songs are frikkin awesome

  7. Naomi

    September 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I think that the album is ok. The thing is that it was too much R&B and pop. She could have done a few rock songs, like she did before. Did it live up to it’s hype? Not exactly. I don’t want to sound mean, but the album sounds completely generic and manufactured. But hey, she was a product of Disney.

  8. Lucy

    September 28, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Well… this article is crap. 2/5?! Really? You must be deaf. The album’s freaking amazing and I could listen to it forever. It wasn’t in the least bit a disappointment and I think that, judging by the other comments above me, you’re alone in your opinion.
    Ha! Go Demi… Unbroken’s amazing and I’m so proud of you! :)

  9. Bary

    September 29, 2011 at 1:49 am

    This article is joke! Demi’s AMAZING and I’m so proud of her and her work. Unbroken is a great album and if you understand that than something is clearly wrong with you!

  10. Bary

    September 29, 2011 at 1:51 am

    *can’t

  11. LOLA

    September 29, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I agree with this article. Just hear me out. I fell in love with her music before I fell in love with the artist. She’s great in person but her music speaks to me first. When hearing her music I imagined now this is the person that you can say “Wow, such amazing talent and I bet she’s awesome.”

    It is different if you fell in love with the artist first before you hear their music. There is tendency to be bias defending her without using clear judgment and other point of views. Because almost all criticisms feels like bashing the artist. I think Demi can take criticism, why can’t her fans?

    As a music fan, I felt cheated because I did not hear the real artist in ‘Unbroken’. There are more beats and a little auto tune here and there but where is Demi? Where’s her story about what went down last year? I can’t help but feel she’s hiding eventhough she has been really outspoken about her struggles last year. Not to mention she wrote less songs which I think made the album feel a little disconnected. Honestly, only the songs she wrote are stuck in my head.

    As a fan of Demi Lovato, I think the album is a great stepping stone for her to burst into mainstream music and garner more fans worldwide and get recognition she totally deserves. A great person at heart and strong persona. Happy that she’s happy.

  12. Rhiannon

    September 29, 2011 at 11:15 am

    First of all Demi every single song on her album has its own meaning and if you dig deep and listen to the words or the beat you can see whether it links to her bi-polar or her relationships with friends/family/ex’s or whether its her eating disorders or cutting. Im incredbley sorry that just because she has been through alot doesnt mean that all her songs are going to be depressive, maybe she wanted songs that would be happy and make people happy ?? GET A LIFE !!!!

  13. dana

    September 30, 2011 at 3:59 am

    well…. i dont like what they had to say in the article, i think its wrong that they are saying they dont like her new music, she had a breakdown, everyone goes down that kind of road in there life atleast once, im 20 and i had a major breakdown when my uncle died of cancer, i tried to kill myself, she wants to express herself through her music to let everyone know that she is doing ok and that she will get back on track,you cant always sing your feelings in a rock/pop song. so people, just give the album a chance. ohh and before i forget, saying that her albuum sales were only number one because of the lovatics are wrong, when i heard the song i loved and i didnt even know at the time she had a breakdown. there are people out there that just ove that kind of music. don’t judge before you know is one of my uncles great saying and know i know what he means.