Tell Me You Love Me: Album Review

by Natalie Dest

Demi Lovato is finally reaching for her quest for a Grammy, with her newest soul-searching album “Tell Me You Love Me.” Released this past Friday, the singer’s sixth studio album is the pop star’s most revealing project to date, being one of the most highly-anticipated releases of the year.

Now that the project has dropped, it is clear that Lovato is claiming her throne within the pop industry. The 25-year-old Disney graduate has given her “Lovatics” the empowering, sexual and self-accepting record they have been waiting for.

Since the release of her past album “Confident” back in 2015, Lovato has continued to assert herself as a vocalist deserving of recognition, not only to those involved within the pop scene, but to outsiders as well. Leading with the massive pop hit “Cool For The Summer” in her past album, many critics argued “Confident” was a mix of over-emoted vocals and muddled production.

However, Lovato has been receiving nothing but congratulations to her new-found rhythm and vocal stance that creates her newest record.

Kicking off “Tell Me You Love Me” with the summer anthem “Sorry Not Sorry,” Lovato is taking her fierce stance. This revenge-soaked single is a mid-tempo track full of bass and electronic claps. Lovato is happily unforgiving while singing “Being so bad got me feeling so good / Showing you up like I knew that I would.” Reaching number two on the iTunes charts on it’s day of release, the smash hit remains in the top 15 two months later.

Following this pop hit is the song behind the album title, “Tell Me You Love Me.” Hooking listeners in immediately with rich bass, the album’s title track perfectly showcases Lovato’s powerhouse vocals that deserve raving about. Lyrically, this track delivers deep emotion while exposing Lovato’s vulnerability in terms of relationships.

Similarly to “Tell Me You Love Me,” the track “You Dont Do It For Me Anymore” proves that this pop diva still has heart. With the sound of violins lying in the background and through the use of constant vibrato, Lovato’s vocals soar up and down while delivering an incredibly raw and personal story regarding her split from a loved one.

Although raw tracks such as these go back and forth within the record, Lovato steps out of her bubble to deliver the more cheeky and sexy feature to her style of music.

Featured song “Daddy Issues” is an uptempo brass-filled track, almost mimicking an 80’s dance beat. Singing about her obsession with a guy she knows is no good, Lovato’s voice is vocally strong in this track while belting the lyrics “Forget all the therapy that I’ve been through / Lucky for you, I’ve got all these daddy issues.”

“Ruin The Friendship” is known to be one of the albums more slicker, sexier and slower tracks. With a strong bass line, Lovato’s vocals remain fairly stripped back and low key, aiding to the more sensual and sexual feeling that inspires the song.

After taking a listen, it’s safe to say that this track is about stepping out of a platonic friendship and crossing the boundaries to something more, specifically when Lovato sings “Your body’s looking good tonight, I’m thinking we should cross the line / Let’s ruin the friendship.”

Months before the release of “Tell Me You Love Me,” Lovato had been teasing anticipated fans on artist collaborations for the new record. To fans surprise, rapper Lil’ Wayne was seen to be featured on Lovato’s track, “Lonely.” The track is a mid-tempo, heart-pulling ballad, once again displaying the pop singer’s vulnerability. Lovato’s vocal take center stage during the song, prominent with much vibrato and belted notes.

In a quick switch up, we see Lovato entering a slick yet dark RnB vibe on the track “Games,” a sound we don’t hear too often from this star. The song takes focus on the 25 year-old proving that she has the upper hand when it comes to someone’s childish games. With it’s catchy chorus and tight production, it would not be surprising to see this song as a respectable radio hit.

Ending on a high note, the pop sensation serenades a lover on the captivating track entitled “Hitchhiker.” After battling with feelings and enduring some soul searching, this track embodies an optimistic love ballad of Lovato putting her heart on the line, undoubtedly one of the most revealing songs on the record. This song so perfectly captures Lovato’s brand, being one to have experienced and strongly conquer much heartache and disappointment.

The Target deluxe version of Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me” features two bonus tracks, “Smoke and Mirrors” and “Ready For Ya.” Both songs are deserving of landing slots on the regular releases of her record, as they both showcase some of her best vocal acrobatics, proving why she is one of them most talented female vocalists and artists of our generation.

Although no other track could replace the soul-wrenching and heavily emotional track “Stone Cold” from past album “Confident,” “Smoke and Mirrors” is nothing short of portraying Lovato’s immense pain and continuous heartache. This track in specific truly demonstrates Lovato’s vocal ability and lyrical talent, as she belts the words “So tell me, did you ever really love me / Did you ever really want me, now that I see you clearer.”

Dropping her sixth studio album on the same day as former Disney co-star Miley Cyrus, the star’s lyrical content and outrageous vocal capabilities in each track keeps her spot at number one on the iTunes chart under the category for worldwide albums.

Though every song is different from each other, “Tell Me You Love Me” feels like a cohesive piece of work that flawlessly shows off Lovato’s talents in a glossy pop display.

If her “Confident” record managed to land her a slot for the category of Best Pop Album at the 2017 Grammy’s, the incredible “Tell Me You Love Me” will undoubtedly do the same. The Grammy is practically lying in Lovato’s fingertips.

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