Demi Lovato dominated the pop charts in the mid 2010s with hits like “Cool for the Summer” and “Heart Attack”, earning her awards such as a GLAAD Vanguard Award and a plethora of Teen Choice Awards.
Now, Demi Lovato has rewritten themself as a rock artist after dropping their new album REVAMPED on Sept. 15. Having given the world an electrifying sneak peek of their new music at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sept. 12, the latest 10-track album invites listeners on a fiery tour through old classics, improving old lyrics and introducing new instruments to create a heavier and angrier sound.
The album opens with the Rock Version of their hit, “Heart Attack”. This new version energizes the listener with a heavy, pounding beat, bringing out the power in Lovato’s vocals. Their vocals remain strong as they soar over an intense drum riff.
Other classics such as “La La Land” make a Rock Version reappearance. The changes in this song were more noticeable—the original had been released in 2008 when Lovato was debuting on the pop scene. With a richer and more mature voice, their new rendition has a sassier and more defying feel, which is enriched by noisy backing vocals that add to the unapologetic message of the track.
Some new Rock Versions may come as a disappointment to casual listeners. Tracks such as “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Neon Lights” feel alien in their new, edgier forms. Lovato switches the overall feel of “Sorry Not Sorry” from playfully carefree to a vengeful, angsty track belonging in a rage room montage. “Neon Lights” becomes intense to an extent that makes it feel abnormal.
But one song from REVAMPED seems to tower above the rest. “Cool For The Summer”, one of Lovato’s biggest hits, was possibly given the best Rock Version revamp in the whole album. In a clever move, Lovato switches the lyric “Don’t tell your mother” to “Go tell your mother”, creating a more commanding and powerful mood than the 2015 global hit that had Taylor Swift rocking out at the VMAs on Sept. 12.
Lovato’s new album follows an emerging trend in the music industry to re-record music, following Swift and her Taylor’s Version songs. While Swift leaves her music mostly intact, Lovato successfully changes their songs with a new fundamental rock core. One has to wonder if this change was necessary, as Lovato’s last album Holy Fvck was a rock album. It’s not a new side of Lovato, but it’s definitely one that listeners can enjoy.
Clearly, Lovato does not seem to be backing down from creating music, and it can be expected that they will continue to provide audiences with ravishing new sounds as seen in REVAMPED.