Rehab saved Lovato, but not her music

Stephanie Osmanski

There are a couple of things that may throw you off when you first listen to Demi Lovato’s new No. 1 album “Unbroken.” First, any connection to Lovato’s previous work is severely muted. Second, the album’s powerhouse first single, “Skyscraper,” stands alone.

The album is confusing. Where is the rocker girl fans fell in love with? While listening to the album, I can’t help but suspect that an ulterior motive accompanied Lovato in the recording studio: record sales. In a recent interview with MTV, Lovato expressed a desire to “make more radio-friendly music.” While she definitely succeeded in accomplishing this goal, she managed to blend in with half the music that is already mass-produced.

“Who’s that boy?/Wanna take you home/And get you all alone,” Lovato sings, to which my response is, wait a minute … is this a Demi album I’m listening to, or did I accidentally download “Christina Aguilera” circa 1999?

Hear me out: I am not chastising Lovato for going mainstream. I’m just confused. I loved the sassy way Lovato’s sophomore album, “Here We Go Again,” called out the heartless players that cheated on her. I loved how the song “La La Land” from her first album, “Don’t Forget,” pledged that Hollywood would never change this Texas native.

“Unbroken” is currently No. 1 on the iTunes download charts, but it’s doubtful that the quality of music is what’s propelling the album to such great reception. It’s the curiosity and die-hard support of fans, otherwise known as “Lovatics,” which is circulating buzz and soliciting downloads.

Lovato’s very public breakdown last summer caused an increased level of hype over her post-rehab album. But the album itself, material-wise, doesn’t live up to the buildup that her confessed bulimia, anorexia and cutting created.

“Unbroken” was Lovato’s chance to share her experiences and difficult times with fans who supported her during her rehab. While “Skyscraper” demonstrates this emotional journey, the rest of the tracks do nothing proactive except demonstrate having a good time in the club.

For Lovato’s fans, this may seem … out of place.

“Unbroken” is a mixture between the pop anthems that Lovato sang as her character Sonny on the Disney Channel show “Sonny With a Chance” and “What A Girl Wants.” While “Skyscraper” and “For the Love of a Daughter” express an older, more mature Lovato, the rest of the tracks are only appropriate while getting ready to go out on a Friday night. In a word? Disappointing.