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Criticism | Demi Lovato delivers an intimate and moving album with ‘Dancing with the Devil… The Art of Starting Over’

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Demi Lovato’s last musical adventure took place four years ago, with the release of the very well received and mature “Tell Me You Love Me” “”The Art of Starting Over. Bringing themes like empowerment, love and disappointment to the ears of her fans, Demi seemed to predict that something bad was going to happen in her life – which materialized in her drug relapse and overdose. dangerous which almost cost him his life. After creating the touching “Sober,” the artist, who was once part of the huge Disney Channel family, opened up about sexual harassment and depression, purposefully constructing the grim “Anyone” and presenting it in a applauding surrender at the 62nd Grammy Awards.

Now, in 2021, Lovato was ready to share the most intimate journey of his career with the world, whose chapters were patiently written to carry out self-criticism and invite the public to know the adventure he has embarked on. embedded. The result, accompanied by an acclaimed documentary series of the same name, came to fruition in ‘Dancing with the Devil … The Art of Beginning Again’, literally plunging into a Phoenician renaissance not only of her career, but of the way she sees. And it is in this new effort that the interpreter finds the voice which, previously, had given her a voice to understand what was wrong with the world and how she let herself be carried away by toxic presences which prevented her from be who she really is. .

In addition to the aforementioned song, two other singles were born to launch the album. On the one hand, we have the deep collaboration between Demi and Sam Fischer, “What Other People Say”: the track was written by Fischer a long time ago and, according to him, he always knew it was intended for a duo surrender. . Such was his luck when Lovato, one of the great singers of his generation, crosses paths with him and decides to lend his beautiful voice to a plot that is essentially about resentment. “I thought when I grew up I would be the same as those who gave me my last name” is just the prologue to a reflection on making bad choices and letting others be you. shaping, making you forget about those who have always supported you and let go of a personality that doesn’t, there was nothing wrong in the first place.

The production gains exponential strength when combined with other elegiac forays of the past decade, nurturing similarities to Lucas Graham and Hozier tracks while marching towards a unique and welcoming sound, saying, in all words, that We are not alone. And the same goes for “Dancing with the Devil“, a James Bond soul-rock that mixes sensuality and acidity in one place. Flirting with the narcotic danger of giving us some piece of peace of mind, Demi apologizes in the most inexcusable way possible for dancing with the devil and getting carried away by what made her happy.

Before officially launching the plot that she promotes in the short prologue, the singer and composer specifies that she is not dealing with impersonality: in an existentialist and very cautious healing process, she has all the cards in mind. hand to decide how, when and where to tell his story, without outside influences and without falling into the traps of media sensationalism. “ICU (Madison’s Lullabye)”, in this context, turns into a powerful apology to half-sister, Madison De La Garza, whom she did not recognize after waking up in the hospital bed – ne not even understanding whose voice was accompanying this. Making peace with herself and leaving the demons of a not too distant past behind, she can now tell fans whatever they want to know.

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More energetically than ever, Demi is teaming up with several powerhouses in the music industry to help in this heroic arc – hitting widely, despite some mistakes made along the way. We have the aforementioned duo with Fischer; the elegant and evocative “Easy”, dramatized alongside Noah Cyrus in an orchestral whirlwind of piano and violins; “My Girlfriends Are My Boyfriend“, which unites him with rapper Saweetie and leaves room for feminist constructions carried by pop-noir and rap; and the highly anticipated ‘Met Him Last Night’ – teaming up with Ariana Grande and taking advantage of the artist’s well-known forays to create a solid, albeit dissonant, future trap structure that does not spontaneously blend in with the rest. of the album.

It is undeniable to say that the work is running up against some slippages, mainly due to the exorbitant number of tracks. “15 Minutes” is scattered in a repetitive, slightly recycled comfort zone, as if it had been used quickly from previous tracks – as is “California Sober” (a song that could have been deleted without major loss). “Butterfly”, ending an epic that began even in its first inflections, also fails to forget a cathartic crescendo and surrender to the contained frustration of instrumental evidence.

Fortunately, Lovato shows he has creative, aesthetic, and critical control over the messages he wants to convey to anyone who is willing to listen. Her past obligations give way to a well-known irony that translates into the fun “Melon Cake”, which picks up an unfortunate anniversary episode, while country-pop appears in the stunning “The Way You Don’t Look At Me. “. Betting on indie pop-rock and folktronica, Demi presents “Carefully” and “The King Of Lover I Am”, as well as a coherent and more theatrical interpretation of the classic “Mad World”.

To say that “Dancing with the Devil… The Art of Starting Over” is the maturity of Demi Lovato, is to create a cheap understatement that does not explain the importance of the album to his own life. The singer, reached a consensus with all the moments she has gone through, opens like a book, stamping each page with an overwhelming and humble sentence: “it’s me, naked and raw”.

Rating per track:

1. Everyone – 4.5 / 5
2. Dancing with the devil – 5/5
3. ICU (Madison’s Lullabye) – 4.5 / 5
4. Intro – 5/5
5. The art of starting over – 4.5 / 5
6. Lonely people – 4/5
7. The way you don’t look at me – 5/5
8. Melon cake – 4.5 / 5
9. I met him last night (with Ariana Grande) – 3.5 / 5
10. What others are saying (with Sam Fischer) – 4.5 / 5
11. carefully – 4.5 / 5
12. The kind of lover that I am – 4.5 / 5
13. Easy (feat. Noah Cyrus) – 5/5
14. 15 minutes – 3/5
15. Girlfriends Are My Boyfriends (feat. Saweetie) – 5/5
16. California Sober – 2/5
17. Mad World – 5/5
18. Butterfly – 3/5
19. Good place – 4/5

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