By Jason Fontelieu
Demi Lovato will set out next month with DJ Khaled on their co-headlining tour, Demi x Khaled. The tour will begin Nov. 30, and there will be a performance March 24 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Khaled will be promoting his album “Grateful” while Lovato will be promoting her album, “Tell Me You Love Me.”
On this album, Lovato is back and as bold and fierce as ever. Her brash sixth studio album clearly displays and achieves its goal of showcasing the versatility and strength of Lovato’s vocal chops.
The album retains the refined pop style of her past works, with a minimal focus on the production noise backing up Lovato, to make sure that her voice, in all its glory, is always the loudest sound on each track.
“Concentrate” and “Hitchhiker” are prime examples of the album’s focus on Lovato’s focus vocals, with simply a band and chorus of background singers to support her.
Lead single “Sorry Not Sorry” is unapologetically fierce, as promised in the title. The affirmations of carelessness here requires Lovato at the top of her range. A fun ride from start to finish, this one is the ultimate pump-up song.
The jazz-infused “Ruin the Friendship” is a standout, with its accents of horns and Lovato’s restraint as she softly coos in a desperate plea to take the next step in a relationship with someone. It almost sounds like it could be a duet with Frank Sinatra.
Also exploring themes of sexuality, Lovato approaches the topic from the bubbly, upbeat perspective on “Sexy Dirty Love,” but also with raw honesty on the brutally forthright “You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore.”
Also a highlight was an acoustic version of the song “No Promises,” Lovato’s collaboration with EDM group Cheat Codes. Wildly better than the original version, this one is majorly toned down from the messy beats of the original version that often left Lovato’s voice in the shadows.
The clear peak of the album is the soaring title track, “Tell Me You Love Me.” Probably the strongest vocal performance on the album, and potentially her career, the song has the catchiness of any other song on the radio but the emotional intensity of a ballad.
Fitting in tone but not in sound is Lovato’s collaboration with Jax Jones and Stefflon Don, “Instruction.” A blunt party anthem, this airs the catchiness of a line dance song but feels out of place with the overproduction of background music that often overpowers Lovato’s vocals, much like the original version of “No Promises.”
Lovato is at her finest on this record, doing what she does best by producing fearless songs with killer beats and high notes that only she’ll ever be able to reach.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Demi Lovato’s Facebook page.
Jason Fontelieu is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at email@example.com
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