Is Demi Lovato’s “New” Album Truly REVAMPED Or Is It Simply Recycled?
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Jess Newman. Find her on Instagram at @_jess_n_. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Demi Lovato is among the many artists who have been adding new flare to old material when their careers are in a lull. Whether they disguise it as an anniversary album or a greatest hits album is up to them. At the end of the day, the internet seems to be split on whether we are getting new material or if these filler projects are just cash grabs.
Demi Lovato released her album REVAMPED on Friday, September 15th. Before release, she had been promoting the album as an artist would for any brand new project. She was posting on Instagram about all the album pamphlets she was signing. Lovato even had her fan base guessing the hits that were going to be redone rock style on this album via the community texting service. She even released 3 songs (“Heart Attack”, “Cool for the Summer” and “Sorry Not Sorry”) as singles leading up to the album release.
Anyone who knows me personally knows I love Demi Lovato. I have been a huge fan since the release of her debut album, Don’t Forget. With that being said, I’m so sad that I’m not in love with this project as a whole. I think it was overly promoted for what the album ultimately is and I’m not the only one. American Songwriter, shares a similar sentiment, but we have different favorites.
I want to start with the tracks that I believe made the transition to hardcore rock the smoothest. “Heart Attack”, “Cool for the Summer”, “La La Land” and “Don’t Forget” were my stand-out favorites. All of these tracks were powerful and had a driving beat before REVAMPED which made it easy to add a strong electric guitar and call it a day. Lovato has always leaned towards pop music with a heavy emphasis on guitar and vocals.
Lovato’s two outlier albums were “Unbroken” and “Tell Me You Love Me”. This coincides with my two least favorite tracks from REVAMPED. “Tell Me You Love Me” had no rock influence at all. This album was completely rooted in R&B, so much so that Lovato released a gospel version of TMYLM. I love the original, but the rock version fell flat for me.
This is the same for “Skyscraper”. This song was my anthem throughout my teenage years. This song is so powerful in not only the vocals but also in the lyrics. Lovato tells a real and raw emotional story, much like “29” from her album released last summer. These songs capture words a lot of us can’t seem to say ourselves. I’m not sure anything could have been done to make these anthems any better. The rock version of “Skyscraper” is strangely similar to the original, but it sounds like Lovato’s vocals were toned down in hopes of letting the electric guitar shine and be the star of the show. Sadly, this just doesn’t fit the song. This song is a ballad, not a head-banging song.
The songs I didn’t mention by name were honestly just okay. Two of them feature other artists. I had to look them up and I still don’t know who they are. The REVAMPED version of “Give Your Heart A Break” was odd to me. Lovato made it a duet with Bert McCracken. He did not have vocals anywhere near Lovato’s so everything seemed extra toned down to not outshine his feature. Originally, GYHAB was purely pop and had no room for a rock revamp.
Demi Lovato can outsing almost anyone and even her debut album had vocals for days. This left little to no room for the high-screeching vocals that her rock versions call for. In my opinion, those vocals have a time and a place but I didn’t need a whole album of those high notes. She was trying to outdo herself, but I believe a better use of her time and money would have been to do an anniversary version of Don’t Forget. That album was released in 2008 which was 15 years ago (I’m crying in Zillennial as I write this). I would have loved her to rerecord those songs and add the mature Demi flare to them.
Ariana Grande did this at the end of August. She dropped live versions of the biggest hits from her debut album, Yours Truly, which had its 10th anniversary this year. Unlike Lovato, Grande gave us almost no warning. She released the songs on streaming platforms and then posted on Instagram providing more information as to when she was dropping the coinciding videos for each song.
According to the Boar, “Live albums can be a chance for artists to give their unadulterated take on songs they believe are worthy of purchase”. I agree with this especially when the artist has grown so much that they can add new life into the songs. This is where I believe Ariana made the better move with doing live versions instead of trying to make hits into something they weren’t meant to be. They were hits for a reason!
Let us know what you think about Demi’s REVAMPED album in the comments. Are these types of albums cash grabs or not?