Music and That: Demi Lovato – Unbroken

Wait, come back! I swear, it’s really good, ignore all your anti-Disney pop starlet prejudices!

I was convinced to give Demi a try by my mate Martyn, who frankly is gayer than any human being has any right to be and has some EXTREMELY questionable music tastes (I mean, he likes Hilary Duff FFS), but for once her was completely right.

I know that Disney teen stars haven’t got the best track record, especially poor old Demi (Camp Rock = eurgh. And when the Jonas Brothers are involved is there really any other kind of rock?) but think about things like Party in the USA. That was good, in spite of Miley Cyrus, right? Right.

So, on to Demi. If you been paying attention to your celeb gossip over the last year or so, you’ll know she’s had a tough time of it, what with issues with bulimia and self-harm. Thusly, her new album seems to reflect that, with a much more mature and emotional sound than we’re used to from her.

Well, once you get to the second half of the album. Much like Nicki Minaj’s recent opus (but much less extreme a shift), each song could take you one way or the other, dance-y type stuff, or weepy ballads.

The first half is easily the weaker side. Opener “All Night Long” is produced by Timbaland and features guest raps from both himself and Missy Elliott, and you can totally tell it’s him. It makes you think of 2006. In a good way. Sadly the tracks immediately following it are basically shit. “Who’s That Boy” featuring Dev (who apparently will guest on your single for half a tube of Rolos if her work rate is anything to go by) is enjoyable but stupid, “You’re My Only Shorty” featuring Iyaz (no, me neither) is as hideous as you would expect from a song with that title, whilst “Together” is an overly-earnest R’n’Bish ballad with the king of overly-earnest R’n’Bish ballads, Jaaaaaasoooonnn Deruuuulooooooo himself.

Fortunately once your through the triple whammy of crap duets, things pick up considerably. “Lightweight” is a very sweey, thoughtful ballad, and is immediately followed by title track “Unbroken”. Now, with a name like that I was expecting a mega-weepy power ballad, but was pleasantly surprised to find a big electro foot stomper, in the vein of Britney, if she toned it down a bit. Very good.

The rest of the album tends to hop between gay-mazing ballads like “Fix a Heart” (which is awesome except for a slightly clunky use of the word “band-aid”), “My Love Is Like a Star”or Mistake, and more upbeat spunky “I don’t need no man” sort of efforts like “Hold Up” or “In Real Life”. It should be pointed out that “For the Love of a Daughter” tries to be poignant but is shit. Soz, Demi.

The main attraction though, is the entirely fantastic “Skyscraper“. It is easily the most beautiful ballad released since Adele’s “Someone Like You”, and the British public recently allowed it to enter the charts at the heady heights of number 32. Chris Brown can get to number 1 no problem though. SHAME ON YOU BRITISH PUBLIC.

Anyway, I do encourage everyone to give this a go. If you’ve missed pure unadulterated pop recently, whilst The Saturdays and JLS piss off doing dance numbers, then you’ll love this. Really.

BEST 3 SONGS: “Skyscraper”, “Fix A Heart”, “Unbroken”

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About rmdbutler

2007 Brit Award nominee for Best International Female
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