It’s been nearly seven years since Demi Lovato publicly announced her struggles with depression, self harm, drug addiction, bullying, rehab and eating disorders. Since then, she’s become a voice for self help and mental health awareness and bullying prevention.
Her albums “Unbroken” (2011) and “Demi” (2013) addressed issues related to her personal life, such as her estranged relationship with her biological father and her battle against depression and drug addiction. These songs were raw and vulnerable, allowing listeners and fans to connect with Lovato’s pain. Her album “Confident” (2015) deviated from these topics, focusing more on relationships and fun than deep-rooted issues from her life.
The latest album, “Tell Me You Love Me,” is void of songs related to her struggles from the past and divulges into the ups and downs of relationships.
On “You Don’t Do it For Me Anymore,” Lovato sings of leaving a relationship that no longer meets her relational needs. “Ruin the Friendship” is a song about the classic struggle of stepping across the line of “just friends.” “Cry Baby” describes a relationship that leaves Lovato in tears, but is one that she finds herself stuck in. She touches on a common fear many young adults have of being insignificant without being in a romantic relationship, singing, “Can you hear my heart say ‘you ain’t nobody ’til you got somebody?'” in the title track. “Sorry Not Sorry” is the lone song that doesn’t address a relationship; instead, it’s a song of empowerment where she says “sorry, not sorry” for being herself to the negative people in her life.
Lovato’s voice is undeniably impressive. She has a wide vocal range and is capable of hitting high notes that are out of many singers’ ranges. Yet, in most of the songs on this album, she sounds like she is yelling these notes as opposed to singing them, which got irritating and distracting.
A major downfall of this album is instrumental variety. Many of the songs had the same beat that popular rap and R&B songs incorporate, making none of the songs sound new or innovative. There was nothing distinctly Demi in this album — it easily could have a pop album released by Ariana Grande or Fifth Harmony. Lyrically, there was not a lot of variety either. It felt as though the album could be one long song about a troublesome relationship Lovato is in. Nothing was unique about this album.
Despite the lack of instrumental and lyrical variety, I really like a couple of the songs on the album. “Daddy Issues” might become my new guilty pleasure — it’s just so catchy! “Hitchhiker” is another infectious song that I will be putting on various Spotify playlists.
“Tell Me You Love Me” is an album that will undoubtedly project Demi Lovato further into the pop charts. Unfortunately, that’s all this album was — just another pop album documenting tumultuous relationships.
Chelsea Tyler is a senior English and communication studies double major. This review reflects the opinion of the author only.