We all love a great comeback after a very public melt-down, don’t we? Remember Mariah’s iconic comeback with the decade’s biggest hit ‘We Belong Together‘ in 2005 after almost 5 years of spiraling out of control? Or Britney’s return to the top with ‘Circus‘? I’ve never really cared much for Disney chicks these days and their music, except for the occasional song by Miley Cyrus, Hillary Duff, Selena Gomez and co. But Demi Lovato’s ‘Unbroken‘ just made me abandon my sunday playlist comprising of Nina Simone and Alanis Morisette, sit up, and give the album a good listen. And boy am I happy about spending the afternoon listening to the entire album on loop!
Demi had already released 2 typically Disney-pop albums prior to ‘Unbroken‘, and last year she went through a very public breakdown following an eating disorder and self-mutilation. One listen to ‘Unbroken‘, and you’ll realize that she’s left all the drama behind and channeled all her frustrations and past experiences into song, resulting in one of the most cohesive, focused and brilliantly executed albums of the year.
The result? The first single ‘Skyscraper‘, a power-ballad about her own downfall last year has already become a bona-fide smash, and her biggest and her first Billboard top 10 hit.
And just when you thought the album would be chock-a-block with her lamenting about her issues, the album’s first 4 songs whips you up into a frenzy and you don’t realize what hits you by the time you’re through with them! All the 4 tracks feature some of the most prolific artists of these times, especially the fantastic opening track ‘All Night Long‘ featuring Hip-Hop moguls Missy Elliott and Timbaland (yeah, she’s gone hip-hop/r’n’b now). Demi holds her own, and it’s amazing how she’s grown vocally.
This one’s a clear winner, and by the time you’re done grooving to it, the second official single ‘Who’s That Boy‘ featuring Dev hits you. Again a stand-out track, this one’s bound to become a club smash, especially after a coupla remixes.
‘You’re My Only Shorty‘ follows next and this one features Iyaz, and it’s yet another fun track, and both Demi and Iyaz both sound great with each other. Demi stands her ground yet again next to Iyaz’s powerful vocals.This girl can actually sing! Omg?
By the time you’re breathless grooving to the first 3 tracks, another collaboration ‘Together‘ featuring Jason Derulo hits you. She ain’t messing around this time as far as her music goes, and the first 4 tracks have been on repeat on my playlist.
And while the first part of the album’s fun, midway the album goes through a dramatic shift with tracks tackling her personal demons. Most of the tracks see her vocal prowess reach new heights, especially in the ballads. Christina Aguilera anyone?
Stand-out tracks out of the lot are ‘Lightweight‘, ‘Fix A Heart‘ and ‘For The Love Of A Daughter‘. In fact she sounds uncannily like Christina Aguilera on ‘Lightweight‘.
In some ways, I could draw a similarity between Aguilera’s 2002 global smash ‘Stripped‘ and Lovato’s ‘Unbroken‘. Both the albums mark the transition of a Disney Princess into an edgier adult who’s not afraid to show off her swagger. And Lovato’s album definitely lives up to all the hype it’s been generating. It’s scheduled to début in the top 3 of the Billboard 200 Albums Chart this week. And it’s in for the long run, and Demi’s simplicity, song-writing skills and vocals shines through.
So y’all get off your high horses and give the Disney Princess a listen. She ain’t the cotton candy princess anymore. She’s been reborn, she’s raw, and she’s the real deal now. When it comes to good music, Demi Lovato’s sure delivered the goods with ‘Unbroken‘.