Demi Lovato ‘Confident’ 2015

demi-lovato-confident

A Brief Background

Demi Lovato is a powerhouse vocalist who first rose to fame from the ‘Disney machine‘ who had a spell of churning out popstars in the mid 2000’s. Demi shot into the homes of millions worldwide when appearing on “Sonny With A Chance” showing off a kooky and very bubbly character. From this series Demi went off to showcase her talents, releasing 5 studio albums, all selling very well. Today we look at her most recent album “Confident“. Demi started working on the album in 2013, revealing “The sound just evolves into everything that I’ve been and everything that I want to become.” She also said, “I’ve never been so sure of myself as an artist when it comes down to confidence, but not only personal things, but exactly what I want my sound to be and what I know I’m capable of and this album will give me the opportunity to show people what I can really do.”
Let’s see if Demi sticks by her word!

The singles released from “Confident” are as follows:
Confident (Album): US #2, UK #6
Cool for the Summer: US #11, UK #7
Confident (Single): US #21, UK #65
Stone Cold: N/A

Will Demi show her confidence? or will the album be stone cold? Let’s divulge!


 

The Review – Luke and Jordan

 

1) Confident          *Video*

(M.Martin, S.Kotecha, D.Lovato, Ilya)

Right away we are set up for what is sure to be a great journey if the opening track ‘Confident’ is anything to go by. It’s clear to see that this is single material, it’s an anthem and an empowerment track without being too egotistical. The backing music is reminiscent of a modern day ‘Eye of the tiger’ and deserves the same success. I could see this featuring in a movie on top of a montage of boxers or people training. Overall, a slick tune which appeals to the masses with powerhouse vocals and strong lyrics and resembles her state of mind perfectly after her troubles. 9/10
She is back, stronger than ever and ready to take on the world! The song is constantly keeping you energized with the use of instruments, towards the end she kicks off with her powerhouse vocals and high belting – it’s electric and a great track to introduce the confident album; I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next! 9/10

 

2) Cool For The Summer                *Video*

(S.Kotecha, M.Martin, A.Kronlund, A.Payami, D.Lovato)
‘Cool for the Summer’ slides in subtly from the opening track and it works very well, as the listener is presented with an almost grungy pop sound which works well with Demi’s strong and sultry vocals – it suits her perfectly in this track and really presents a different side of her. The different vocal arrangements in the song really help to keep it alive, from the whispers in the middle 8 to the yo yo effects in “Don’t be scared ‘cuz I’m your body type” and the huge adlibs towards the end of the track. The song proves to be a great reinvention for this new era as the lead single. 8/10
Demi sound sweet and innocent during the first verse, but what she actually is saying is, something quite naughty. The chorus reveals her true intentions and she is suddenly confident enough to come out with it all. I hope she enjoys her summer with her friend. Hot pop summer track which will get you singing along. 9/10

3) Old Ways          *Audio*

(O.Waithe, J.Evigan, S.Hoffman)

Wow, as we progress further into the album, the themes are getting darker. The opening lyrics about a knife sticking in “The left side of my chest” is a bit vivid (Obviously getting at heart ache). I love the different sounds this song supplies, every different stage is a different sound, there’s almost an urban feel in the instrumental on the bridge and the drop in the music is kind of dubstep and I expect Nicki Minaj to jump in any moment. I love the hook in this song “Colours colours colours colours” and the riffs she adds to the lyrics, you can tell she is putting a lot of emotion into the vocals. When you read betweeen the lines, you can interpret the song as describing her struggles before rehab, referring to “not going back to my old ways”. It’s a strong track from Demi. 7.5/10
We’re still in party mode with builds galore, followed by that drop which is very hot and current. Her vocals arrangement is good with her use of changes in styles of singing. The song almost goes into another direction and then at the end it’s adlibs central – very strong but I felt slightly disconnected during the auto tuned male vocal. 7/10

4) For You                *Audio*

(J.Carlsson, D.Grant, S.H.Catanzaro)

As soon as the song starts you can hear a gradual build right up until the chorus which is nice to hear as it keeps you enticed; then when the build comes in – it hits the spot. This is the first ballad-esque song from Demi thus far and it displays her vocals perfectly! The hook in the middle 8 which sounds like a robotic voice “I would do anything for you” is infectious but is it saying that when it comes to this relationship, Demi is almost an automated robot being controlled? It’s very heartfelt and I love the theme and power ballad style. 7/10
We’re turning the page a little bit now, was my initial thought on the song’s opening; but Demi kicks back in again with that empowering vibe that we are presented with int he chorus. The vocals are extremely strong here and I am in love with this new album thus far! 8/10

5) Stone Cold               *Video*

(D.Lovato, L.Pourkarim, G.Thorn)

So far, the track listing on this album has been perfect, the songs have been slowly progressing (Theme wise) and are changing your mood constantly. With ‘Stone Cold’ you really find yourself empathizing with Demi and this comes from the picture she paints with the lyrics “I’ll take the pain, give me the truth, me and my heart will make it through” You can tell this comes from personal experience and she truly connects with the song. The astounding vocals behind the track really enhances the sound and makes it more memorable, I imagine this power ballad would be one to sing in the car whilst it’s raining, looking out of the window. #TotesEmotes
My only gripe with the track is the way she sings “Know that I am” she sounds as though she is auditioning for the role of the witch in Wicked. 8/10
The basic piano and vocal is a nice change, Lana Del Ray esque in the first verse. Demi then sings her heart out with her strong yet vulnerable vocals. The lyrical content of the song is something reminiscent of an Adele track, “If happy is her, I’m happy for you” – In one way she is saying that she accepts her lover has moved on with someone else, but it’s also saying she will be anyone he wants her to be, simply because she loves him so much (depending on your perception of the song). Strong an more exposed vocals, a great moment in Demi’s career – this song is extremely good. 9/10

6) Kingdom Come (Feat. Iggy Azalea)              *Audio*

(J.Michaels, S.Mac, D.Lovato, A.A.Kelly)

On first impression, this sounds like an interlude on the album, almost as though we will be venturing into a different part of Demi… Or this was thrown in to raise the mood from the previous couple of tracks, either way – this sound was needed thus far to perk up the listener. The sounds provided are really fun but I’m not sure what genre they fit into. The song is very similar to ‘Black Widow’ with the tones in the background, and seeing that Iggy is featured, maybe this is the sound she brought to the table?
Once again, Demi’s strong vocals are displayed in a great way in the chorus, showing her elongated notes and dominant presence. It’s a bit of fun really, with dark undertones and this is evident with the lyric “So set me on your phone” Not sure what she is getting at, but it’s full of ambiguous lyrics. 6.5/10
A Euro-pop vibe in the chorus, then we drop to the new rap inspired beat. The builds are still prominent in this track which gives it it’s fresh sound. Iggy adds a different spin on the tack – you can tell Iggy had a say in the instrumental as it has that ‘Black Widow’ hook. 7/10

7) Waitin’ For You (Feat. Sirah)              *Audio*

(D.Lovato, J.Michaels, J.Evigan, S.Mac, S.Mitchell)

The opening of this track is quite drab, but it shines lyrically, the metaphors are clear and strong. The lyrics “You can run, you can run, you can run” almost sound out of key. Then when you least expect it, belty Demi kicks in and the song is instantly lifted and taken to another level, it’s just a shame that after the chorus into verse two, the drabness comes back.
The chorus is extremely powerful, with a consistent build.  I’m not sure what she is saying lyrically but I feel uplifted listening to the track. I feel this could be a single for another artist but not necessarily for Demi. 5.5/10
Demi wont be messed with, she explains all in this song. The track has an urban feel that’s confident, Sirah confirms this on her verse. I can’t help but feel something is missing from this track. 6/10 

8) Wildfire            *Audio*

(R.Tedder, N.Morier, T.Hermansen, M.Eriksen)

This track has a very zen like introduction before Demi actually appears. The vocal arrangement in the verses is very calming which is a nice change from previous tracks. Demi’s soft vocals sounds really nice and it’s nice to hear her singing more traditionally as opposed to growling and aggressively. The hook of “Wildfire” is catchy, considering the track is a ballad, the chorus then transitions smoothly to the slightly upbeat middle 8. It was pleasant enough but quite drab and sickly sweet, with a misleading title. 5/10
A head bopper int he first verse. With the tracks title, I was expecting a strong roaring chorus but she is singing very softly. I guess it’s a good track to break the album up a bit, maybe she is going to take us in a different direction? 5.5/10

 

9) Lionheart             *Audio*

(S.Mac, I.Wroldsen)

The opening lyrics “your light is inside of me” would have actually been perfect to open ‘Wildfire’ with. This is a power ballad/empowerment song if I ever heard one. I feel this song would be perfect to release around Christmas time, it has a strong title, easy to get into and relaetable themes. I can’t commend this song enough based on the lyrics – it’s lovely “My love will be your armor tonight”, “We stand together, facing the war, and our love is gonna conquer it all”. Demi persists with her empowerment love song with extremely strong vocals proving that she is on top of her game. Well done Demi. 10/10
We are taking a different direction and I’m glad because the pop world needs more songs like this. This is a power anthem that you just NEED to sing out loud; there’s a gospel element to it but it has a fresh sound to it at the same time. I can imagine that this track is a major tear jerker for many people. The passion glows and Demi executes the song perfectly. The basic foundations of the chords are beautiful and warm and help the song achieve its success, the only other person that could do this song justice would be Kelly Clarkson.  9/10

10) Yes              *Audio*

(D.Lovato, L.Pourkarim)

Upon first listen, this feels like a gospel track, I can see Demi really going to town on this song in a church. She has a knack of fooling the audience with calm sounding songs with a killer belty chorus (Just like Wildfire and Waitin’ for You) I’m not a huge fan of the vocal runs on the last “Yes” before the chorus, it’s sounds forced. I’m pleased the chorus includes powerhouse vocals and contagious hooks – otherwise I feel the song would have been drab, based on the verses and middle 8. I feel this song doesn’t shape up to the rest of the tracks we have heard thus far – it’s calming down the audience as we head towards the end of the album. 4/10
This track has a gospel vibe too, she is whacking out those inspiring tracks. I’m waiting for the track to kick in during the verses, luckily the chorus gives us that. Her riffs and runs are very inventive towards the end. A nice song but previous track Lionheart has outshone it. 5.5/10

11) Father                  *Audio*

(D.Lovato, L.Pourkarim)

What a pleasant change to previous tracks. This is very mellow and chilled and yet again contains a gospel sound. When the chorus kicks in you can hear the raw emotions in Demi’s voice and it becomes clear very quickly that she is in fact singing about her deceased father. The song is a mix of emotions, talking about their troubled relationship and up and downs. The middle 8 is particularly hard to listen to, you can hear Demi holding back the tears. Then suddenly she lets out a huge note which resembles an outburst or cry. The track gave me goosebumps and her Father would be very proud of her and all she has achieved. A tear jerker if I ever heard one. 8/10
A personal track here, just vocal and piano. The choir makes another appearance. We are taken on an emotion journey; there’s no need for the hot beats, this is Demi at her best – as a person. She has a massive release vocally, almost like she had to stop her crying. As a listener you are left with the expression of “Wow, I felt something there, what a great album” She most definitely is confident in pouring out her heart on this very personal track for the world to hear. 7.5/10

 


 

Final thoughts and overall scores

There’s not much I can say for “Confident” other than… Wow, what a journey. Demi has managed to captivate me in a way which I never thought she could. From the first couple of tracks I thought that it was going to be a typical Demi album with typical ‘fun’ pop tracks, but when the commercial singles were out of the way – I felt a real insight to Demi not just musically but personally. I felt/interpreted  her pre-rehab struggles with “Old Ways” and how she views herself/wants in a relationship with “Stone Cold” and “For You” which break away from traditional pop song traits and present an alternative style which are unique and modern yet also easy to grasp. Lovato then continues to impress audiences with her empowerment tracks such as “Confident” and the real gem on the album which is a love song/empowerment anthem “Lionheart” where she proves her worth to the music industry with fantastic lyrics and excellent arrangements with real sentiment behind it; this leads me on to talk about closing track “Father” which gave me goosebumps from the outset – it was raw and a real tear jerker and you could literally hear Demi fighting back the tears and give outbursts of emotion. The only gripes I have with the album come from “Wildfire” and “Yes” Which I personally found quite drab and dull… Maybe the album would work better as an EP? Whatever the case, Demi soon redeems herself with her extraordinary vocal moments, ranging from high belts to yo-yo styled falsettos. Well done Demi – you’ve found the perfect mix of commercial, modern and personal and I must commend you for putting such a private piece of work out to the public. How “Confident” of you.   78.5/110

 This album has something for everyone. We have those hot pop tracks with great beats, and we have those deep inspiring moments. Demi provides consistently strong vocals, amazing lyrics and pure passion in what she is singing. This has to be her best album yet; we begin with an outburst of confidence and end on a personal, vulnerable moment which is a very confident thing to do. This album is an all round gem and I can’t wait to listen to it on repeat.     82.5/110

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