Living up to my “First for pop gossip” tagline once again, I, VanHudge, am phresh out of the exclusive Universal Music listening party for Demi Lovato’s new album DEMI. After hearing the album, I’m absolutely certain that this is the year of Demi. The album drops in New Zealand on May 10th and Worldwide on May 14th, but you can read all about the album right now!
The listening party itself was a bit basic, bless their souls. As we arrived at the Universal Music NZ Headquarters in Auckland, our phones were taken off us (it was hard not being able to tweet all the shade I was thinking), and we walked into a room with a few posters of Demi on the walls and some purple streamers and balloons stuck up around the place. Cute. We were a little disappointed that they were just playing MTV Hits as we waited – they could have at least played some of Demi’s older music or even fellow Hollywood Records artists (Because let’s face it, they need all the promo they can get).
We were invited to grab something to drink, and of course I opted for a Red Bull #SoberIsSexy. The Umusic staff started out with a few spot prizes, and some of the attendees couldn’t contain their excitement – one particularly excited fan told his friend “I hope I don’t throw up” – a bit on the nose there, buddy. They then took us into the board room where we watched a short video message from Demi herself, congratulating us for making it to the listening party, and telling us to “enjoy the pizza”. (She also said she’d love to come to New Zealand soon, but I’m sure she’ll be doing another three South American tours before she makes it here.)
The second single from DEMI is Made In the USA, and I can tell you right now, this one is going to be huge. Demi’s vocals are just as powerful and perfect as every track she does, but what really sets this track apart is the upbeat pop-perfection production. Made In The USA has an enormous chorus, and it definitely has the potential to be Demi’s biggest hit yet. The track also sets the tone for the rest of the album: big pop tracks with strong beats and soaring vocals.
Another stand out track was Neon Lights, a bona-fide club track that I know I’ll be dancing to for months. Neon Lights is killer electro-pop track, and the bridge builds up to an addictive chorus. I am READY to hear this in the clubs, like right now!
Without the Love and Nightingale were slower tracks, but they still had a powerful beat that kept the energy of the album going. Two Pieces was another one of the slower tracks, and this one was way more chill, and a very sweet song. I couldn’t help but think it sounded a little bit like a better version of A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.
In Case was giving me some Bridgit Mendler vibes, which isn’t surprising given that it was co-written by Bridgit’s collaborator Emanuel Kiriakou. The song still fit with the rest of the album though, and Demi’s vocals were as good as ever.
Really Don’t Care was a really fun track. Basic as hell, but fun. It was upbeat, with plenty of angst, and then of course there was Cher Lloyd’s rap. Demi could have had anyone join her on this track – I don’t think Cher added anything too special to the album – but you know, it was a solid track and I still enjoyed it.
Fire Starter was a little more serious, but Demi was still serving up that strong driving beat that I was LIVING for. Next up was Something That We’re Not – a more upbeat pop-rock track that had PLENTY of cowbell. This track wouldn’t be out of place on a One Direction album, which leads me to believe that Demi was getting some one-D when she was recording this one!
Never Been Hurt and Shouldn’t Come Back were two more strong tracks that had the whole room going. There were some Kelly Clarkson/Taylor Swift vibes in these last few tracks – Demi even putting her own spin on Taylor’s angsty speaking bit in We Are Never Getting Back Together.
Finally came Warrior. This track was devastatingly perfect. A kind of sequel to Skyscraper and For The Love of a Daughter, Warrior was a piano ballad where Demi sang about overcoming all the negativity in her life and rising above it. I was teary eyed the whole way through. The chord progression in the chorus was just perfection. I could feel some Christina Aguilera influence in this song – this track is like Hurt, but with even more power, passion and emotion.
Listening to this album, I can already tell it’s going to be Demi’s biggest record yet. This album is a huge leap forward from her last album Unbroken. The sound of the album was much more consistent, and the upbeat pop songs were miles ahead of the awkward collaborations she’d done in the past (does anyone know what happened to Dev?). As a long-time Lovatic, I feel like Demi has given us an amazing album that we can all be proud to white-girl-tweet lyrics from.
I give DEMI 5/5 Studded denim jackets.
Which song from Demi are you most looking forward to?