Demi Lovato took a break from entertainment to basically mend her heart and work on her personal troubles. Fans are now ecstatic for her return with the new album “Unbroken.” In her words, this record was very therapeutic in terms of expressing her true feelings and telling listeners about who she was beyond the artist. It signifies the journey of moving from a sad and unhappy place, to becoming the joyful and “healthy” person she is today. Demi hopes that not only will this new album entertain but also inspire others to break free from their chains and seek out a better life. Aside from its inspiring concept, Demi is considered to be sounding better than ever on this record with her raspy and powerful vocals. The album is described as intense, representing Demi’s growth as an artist. However, will “Unbroken” proven to be as impressive and edgy, or even better than her previous “Here we go again?” We’ll see after I do a quick run down of the album track by track. And so begins my review.
I was expecting a grand opener but I’m not at all blown away by the first track. Maybe I’m the one with issues, but I’m not really feeling “All Night Long.” As fun and entertaining as the track’s concept is, the best part of it is the catchy chorus, the crazy beat, Missy’s raps, and the fact that Timbaland produced it. Otherwise, I’m simply overwhelmed by the repetition of some annoying lines, and the fact that Demi didn’t sound as if she went hard on the song.
Now, “Who’s That Boy” is just hot. The song has a grinding beat you can jam to in the club and in your ride. The track is heavily r&b/hip hop influenced, while maintaining its pop vibe. It’s about a girl being attracted to a cute boy with a fly persona. He impresses everyone around him but she has developed strong feelings and would really like to get to know who this guy is. This definitely grabs my attention far more than the previous track and makes me even more curious as to what’s coming next. The best thing about this song is that Ryan Tedder wrote it.
“You’re My Only Shorty” is a romantic pop number with this addictive bubblegum melody. I really like the candy-like lyrics and Demi’s honey sweet vocals. Also, Iyaz on the chorus is absolutely perfect because of the island vibe he brings. The track sounds like a summer jam about love. Lying on the beach and enjoying the sunny day with your special someone. This is the kind of song to cheer you up and get you on your feet.
I love “Together.” Reason being, it’s breathtaking, it’s a pop duet with Jason Derulo sounding less auto-tuned, Timbaland produced this, and it’s a song about love. Yes! It’s all about togetherness. The song’s also about taking chances, believing in yourself, holding on to love in the world, working out your issues and facing them head on, and always knowing there’s someone you can count on. There’s so much depth in the words. The instruments are well-arranged, and the harmonies are off the chain. The album keeps getting better and better the more I listen.
“Lightweight” takes a slower pace than the previous but still falls in the category of pop ballad. This song’s unbelievably beautiful; with every note I fall even deeper in love with it. We also get a piece of Demi’s power vocals on this track. Another Timbaland production. The song’s about finding comfort, love and acceptance in someone. The singer’s putting her trust in this person; he has her heart and she wants to let him know she’s also afraid and needs reassurance. There’s so much emotion, passion, substance in her singing. It’s not suffocating but instead captivating and effortless. This is real talent.
The title track “Unbroken” plunges into a dance/pop vibe. I like the trance piece heard echoing in the background; the beat is like ecstasy. The track’s about letting go and not holding anything back when it comes to love. Demi has been hiding from the pain and suffering love can bring, but now she’s willing to take a chance with someone new. It’s a vibrant club song that takes us out of the mellow love songs and unto the dance floor. It’s also sounding like an 80’s disco song.
I thought Demi would stick to the upbeat concept a little more but here comes another pop ballad, and I’m not complaining because “Fix a Heart” is one of the most sensational tracks on the album. The words are emotionally driven. Demi pours out her soul on this inescapable song. It’s about trying your hardest to mend a love that’s dying, or trying your best to heal someone who you can’t really heal because they won’t let you. That’s my interpretation and Demi probably has something deeper but everyone takes their own meanings from songs. I like how heart wrenching this track is. I feel I’m being pulled in by her voice, which gives me chills. Just take a listen and you’ll understand why this is now my second favorite on the album.
“Hold Up” opens up so electrifyingly but then goes into a mode that somewhat loses me. Fortunately, this intensity is recaptured in the chorus. The song’s not as deep in meaning as the previous, but then again it’s a dance track and those are mostly for entertainment. It’s about surrendering to love and letting go of all the barriers you once had. Another track that’s fitting for the club and wicked on your stereo.
“Mistake” mixes rock and pop elements together. For some reason when I hear this song I start imagining myself in driving in the desert. The track’s about a girl letting go of a guy who caused her heartache and initially wanted to take a break from her. In return, she’s ending things with him so there’s no way he can come back. It’s supposed to be a bittersweet track but I’m just not connecting with Demi on this one. Still, I can tolerate it.
I love that the singer kept things rocky. “Give Your Heart a Break” has an indescribable music arrangement that possesses my mind and gives me a pleasurable feeling which satisfies my soul. The track embodies an electro pop beat and theatrical strings I’ve yet to hear on any other songs on the album. It’s about wanting a guy to give her a chance and open up his heart to her. He’s been hurt several times before but she wants him to rest assure and believe that she’s not like the others. It’s the coolest song since “Fix a Heart” that really grabs my attention. And that makes it my third favorite.
When Demi released the music video for “Skyscraper”, the first thought that came to mind was “is this how she feels, alone?” This song is the deepest, sincerest, rawest, and overall, purest I’ve ever heard Lovato singing. She gives us an idea of how much she’s overcome, and let’s us know that no matter what is thrown at her, she’ll always keep her head high and feet steady on the ground. Her strength is at its maximum highest; this is a young lady who’s been through tough times but manages to bounce back with the love and support of her family, friends, and fans. This song is a clear representation of all that and is the reason why it’s my absolute favorite on the album.
“In Real Life” takes a look on the actual bad behavior portrayed by the boyfriend verses all the good things Demi experiences in her dreams. This song doesn’t reach me but I get what she’s saying. Sometimes we wish the good person in our dreams can exist in reality as well. It’s a sweet wish but is often not the case. I like the jazzy essence (almost like an Alicia Keys track); the piano melody and vocal arrangement are also soothing, but I doubt I’ll be repeating this song.
Demi taps into her rhythm and blues side with “My Love is like a Star.” Like the previous, there’s a wonderful piano melody with strong and passionate singing. But this is more believable. I like how classic and soulful it sounds. The song is about a couple remaining true to their love for each other even if there’s distance between them. The lyrics take me away to a warm and intimate place. It’s such a soul shaking song.
Demi slows down the pace towards the conclusion of the album. And what a passionate and powerful conclusion it is. “For the Love of a Daughter” is a very deep and personal track written by Lovato in the form of a letter to her father. It’s about a daughter doing her utmost best to reach out to her father. She’s hoping they can work on their issues and develop a healthy relationship. It’s no secret that Demi’s biological father is not in her life and that their reunion is ever far from blissful. My interpretation of this song is that the singer has a hole in her heart from the lack of him being there, even though she has the love of her stepfather. She still yearns to one day be on good terms with her “real” dad. The song is definitely pulsating; it holds me tighter than “Skyscraper” and enlightens me further about the girl behind the music.
After listening to this album I became more appreciative and understanding of Demi’s music. It’s evidently real, and driven for the mere fact to let people know she’s truthful with whatever she does. The singer is an amazingly talented performer. I can’t count the many times I was blown away by her emotional singing. In all honesty, “Unbroken” has tons of wonderfully written and produced tracks, while there were two or three that I wasn’t quite feeling. Still, it far exceeds my expectations and is absolutely more grown up than her previous. “Unbroken” gets a rating of 4.8/5
Track listing:01. All Night Long (ft. Missy Elliott & Timbaland) 02. Who’s That Boy (ft. Dev) 03. You’re My Only Shorty (ft. Iyaz) 04. Together (ft. Jason Derulo) 05. Lightweight 06. Unbroken 07. Fix a Heart 08. Hold Up 09. Mistake 10. Give Your Heart a Break 11. Skyscraper 12. In Real Life 13. My Love Is Like a Star 14. For the Love of a Daughter 15. Skyscraper (Wizz Dumb Remix) ======
(Purchase this album now on iTunes)