Lovato, whose given name is Demetria Devonne, was born in the United States on August 20, 1992. Lovato shot to fame after starring as Mitchie Torres in the musical TV movies Camp Rock (2008) and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (2010), both of which she had previously been in (2010). The former movie included Lovato’s breakthrough single, a duet with Joe Jonas titled “This Is Me,” which peaked at number nine on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and was featured on the album’s soundtrack.
Don’t Forget (2008), Lovato’s pop rock debut album, was released after she signed with Hollywood Records and debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200. Here We Go Again (2009), the follow-up, debuted at number one in the United States and produced the Top 15 single “Here We Go Again.” Unbroken, her third studio album, released in 2011, featured pop and R&B experiments and yielded the platinum-certified hit “Skyscraper” in the United States.
Here’s a look at the 16 tracks, all co-written by Lovato:
Lovato’s life has been on the show for many years, and it has been confusing, messy, and tragic. In 2021’s powerful “Dancing With the Devil” documentary, they share how fans supported them through an overdose and how they applauded their decision to use they/them pronouns to express gender fluidity (Lovato has also recently returned she/her to their identification pronouns).
Although “Holy Fv—” might be considered as a continuation of “Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over” from 2021, it is even more direct and raw than its predecessor. For Lovato, the best way to deal with her fluctuating emotions is to express them via loud, guitar-driven rock songs.
1.’Freak’ (featuring Yungblud)
As the title suggests, “Holy Fv—” explodes into action with squealing guitars and an interpolation of the popular circus theme (actually called “Entry of the Gladiators,” in case you were wondering). A fan who “came for the tragedy, stayed for the drama,” as Lovato puts it. Undoubtedly, she does not stand alone.
2.’Skin of My Teeth
Several tracks on the album show the influence of Courtney Love and Hole, but “I can’t believe I’m not dead” best exemplifies the album’s bulldozing ’90s grunge rock vibe. When she sings, “I just want to be free, but I can’t / ’cause it’s an (expletive) disease,” her blunt honesty stings even more.
Although she uses her more dulcet tones in an exhibition of aggressive pop, Lovato’s thoughts on death are never far from the surface. Her ongoing yearning to be heard, tinged with melancholy (“Am I talking to myself? she wonders), is belied by a drum beat fueled by caffeine.
4.’Eat Me’ (featuring Royal & The Serpent)
Lovato and Royal & The Serpent (aka Ryan Santiago) creep in on a goth vibe before the song explodes into a fireball of rage, so call it Nine Inch Nails-lite. “Would it make you appreciate me more if my wounds were still fresh?” Lovato says, “Why?” with an obvious bias toward the affirmative rather than genuine curiosity.
In the first thirty seconds, Lovato’s voice goes from snarling and drowsy to released rage over a slinky beat. A story laced with serpents, angels, devils, sinners, and saints is set against a backdrop of searing guitars and a symphony of crashing cymbals.
The title alludes to Lovato’s upcoming birthday (they turn 30 on Saturday), and the song itself is a candid depiction of being taken advantage of by an older suitor (“Numbers advised you not to / but that didn’t stop you”), which many have assumed refers to her relationship with actor Wilmer Valderrama. Lovato sneers at Valderrama, whose age she and her own were when they began dating in 2010: “I see you’re quite the collector / Yeah, you’re 12 years her elder.”
Lovato mulls over the question, “Will I ever know what it’s like to be fine / My demons are calling and tearing me to shreds” in this mellower pop-rock tune. As a reflective Lovato offers more truth, a scratching guitar riff develops into a mountainous chorus. Singing, “Sure, I’m sober now and everybody’s proud,” she explains that her recovery has garnered widespread praise. But I really miss my vices.
It’s got that Nine Inch Nails vibe going on, with shards of guitar and breathy vocal effects building to a rocker’s middle finger. After pleading for mercy and acknowledging that she would always be a “heathen,” Lovato cackles over an ethereal chorus and the song ends.
9.’City of Angels
Lovato’s restless desire for sexual encounters in Los Angeles is matched by the song’s bouncy percussion (the Viper Room, the Roxy, and Disneyland are namechecked as locales for her libidinous action). This fierce jumpsuit was clearly inspired by the late Avril Lavigne.
Lovato’s incredibly blatant sex goals (“let me leap your bones”) are set against a disco beat with teeth and a great guitar groove that would make Nile Rodgers pleased. It’s astonishing that in one song she managed to write both a call to the dance floor and a bold head thrasher.
As Lovato describes how she prefers love to drugs (“I’m terrified of the comedown… getting wasted on you”), the song builds from a ballad to a driving chorus. Indeed, it’s an addiction, although a beneficial one.
Updated from Madonna’s “Borderline,” which explored similar territory ( “Got me closer to the edge than ever / We both want it but we don’t succumb”), this track features clean guitar lines and a booming bass rhythm. By the last chorus, Lovato’s powerful voice has been put through its paces.
The survivor guilt in Lovato’s voice when she sings “I made it through hell and I don’t know why / How am I different… it doesn’t feel right” is apparent. Also, her admission that “I miss my dead pals” is not a reflective musing but rather a raw confession laced with the album’s signature adrenaline.
14.’Help Me’ (featuring Dead Sara)
The most peculiar track on the album features caustic lyrics (“I’m going to take your opinions, shove ’em back in your face”) and a lyrical insert by guest Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara.
Lovato sings of the things that will always be with her, such as her demons being “on the hunt,” but she also finds solace in the knowledge that “my angels taught me how to run” as the power ballad builds to its climax. I discovered my soul just to lose my mind” is one of the most gripping lyrics on an album full of them, which is saying something.
16.’4 Ever 4 Me’
It may seem overly basic to wrap up this thrilling yet emotionally draining album with a summation of my own thoughts and feelings. Lovato’s unwavering bravery and unwavering optimism in the face of danger make her an easy character to root for.
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