Demi Lovato is set for a new chapter
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‘I’m done with the sob stories and the tales. New chapter, new life, new album, new single. This is a completely new Demi’ was what Lovato told Ryan Seacrest in a recent promotional interview, and with the arrival of her new single (Cool for the Summer) it is clear that the artist means business.Demi Lovato has very much been on the mainstream pop music radar since her first appearance on Disney Channel’s original movie Camp Rock in 2008. Beginning her mainstream career as the wide-eyed Mitchie Torres, Lovato swiftly built up a name for herself playing this lead role in one of Disney Channel’s most loved original movies and its sequel; quickly keeping her reputation going by featuring on the film’s soundtracks, and adopting the lead role in her own Disney Channel show, Sonny With a Chance (2009 – 2011).
However, despite her initial focus on acting, what remained subtly consistent with Lovato was her vocal capabilities and interest in music.
From her 2008 Hollywood Records debut Don’t Forget, the pop icon has consistently proved herself to be a vocal powerhouse worthy of recognition. And recognition the artist has received: Lovato has since topped the Billboard 200 with her sophomore album Here We Go Again (2009) and broke into the UK Top 10 with 2013’s empowering summer hit Heart Attack; became a VEVO CERTIFIED artist and also a holder of a plethora of musical accolades.
What Lovato’s sophomore album Here We Go Again displayed was the artist’s underlying appreciation of pop-rock vibes. Blending strong guitar riffs with powerful, electronic pop beats, Here We Go Again was a collection of commanding tracks which each gave Lovato’s striking voice a platform on which to shine.
However, with the Disney role came the Disney responsibility. Despite its commendable commercial performance, this record never met its full potential in terms of content, with Lovato’s vocals and lyrics still being diluted by the sparkly filter that comes with being a musical icon for a young audience. Drifting further away from rock influences with 2011’s R&B-infused, deeply personal Unbroken and 2013’s bubblegum, self-titled DEMI, it appeared that Lovato was favouring heartfelt ballads and cheery singalongs as opposed to the rebellious (in the Disney sense) nature she displayed in her early career.
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'Cool for the Summer', Lovato’s leading single from her upcoming fifth studio album, has completely turned the tables. Produced by the pop music production icon Max Martin (responsible for the construction of Kelly Clarkson’s 'Since U Been Gone', Katy Perry’s 'Teenage Dream', Ellie Goulding’s 'Love Me Like You Do' and a lengthy list of other hits), Cool for the Summer shows a return to the pop-rock roots that influenced Lovato’s early discography.
‘There’s a side of me that people don’t get to see with my past music’, Lovato revealed during On Air with Ryan Seacrest, and it is clear that the artist is making this obvious with her latest musical endeavour.
Beginning with a rather standard piano opening, the track hastily shifts to a consistent pop beat with underlying guitar samples, as Lovato exercises a sweeter tone than her usual vocal style. However, what is most prominent about this track is the powerful electric guitar hook signalling a sonically striking chorus, which in turn exhibits Lovato’s promised blending of dance-pop beats and hints of rock. Lovato has upgraded from the sparkly-coated pop-rock of her debut days to a more beautiful, and carefully controlled, collision of these antithetical genres.
On paper, the various elements of Cool for the Summer would seem completely messy but, unexpectedly, they fuse together to create quite a delightful and noteworthy lead single. With Lovato softly singing how she has ‘a taste for the cherry’ and ‘needs to take a bite’, a more mature approach has begun to surface in Lovato’s work, as 'Cool for the Summer’s ambiguous lyrics focus around the narrative of a one-off fling echoing the style of Katy Perry’s 'I Kissed a Girl' (2008). It appears that lyrically, vocally and sonically, Lovato is not holding back as she heads towards a complete reinvention of her artistic and storytelling approach. In comparison to her previous, arguably more generic and watered down work, Cool for the Summer signposts exciting things to come from this sweet but fierce pop star.
Even though the track is not expected for a UK release till September, when we will all most likely be feeling miserable for autumn, Lovato’s new musical path is an interesting one worth following.
Demi Lovato’s Cool for the Summer is expected for UK digital release on September 4th 2015. Watch a segment of Demi Lovato’s interview with Ryan Seacrest during On Air with Ryan Seacrest here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAqg3RU15M0