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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Demi Lovato’s ‘REVAMPED’ celebrates reinvention and growth

Shavonne Chin

In early September 2023, seasoned musician and actor Demi Lovato released “REVAMPED,” her ninth studio album and her first album of remixes. It serves as the follow-up to 2022’s “HOLY FVCK,” the first album where the singer adopted a new style leaning more towards rock rather than pop.

During their tour last year in support of “HOLY FVCK,” Lovato, who uses both they/them and she/her pronouns, performed songs from their Disney Channel days and the years following for the first time in years. This shocked many fans, considering how open she has been about how detrimental her experiences acting and performing for the company were.

In an interview with the Call Her Daddy podcast in 2022, Lovato shared that although they are thankful for the opportunities they got at such a young age because of Disney, they were constantly exhausted by the intense workload and pressures that came with being a star on the network. In 2023, she opened up to Billboard about how being in Hollywood as a teenager led to an eating disorder and self-harm habits.

Those experiences alone could have driven someone away from the limelight for good. Add on Lovato’s experiences with being groomed by older men and falling into drug addiction, and you have a very long list of reasons to run away from Hollywood as fast as humanly possible.

However, instead of associating their old Disney-era-adjacent songs with the painful memories of that period, the singer chose to reclaim their art in a new and powerful way. When Lovato started performing these older songs again in 2022, they added a twist.

She brought an all-women band on tour with her, including legendary guitarist and former member of Alice Cooper’s touring band, Nita Strauss, turning the sugary-sweet teenage pop songs into stadium-ready pop-rock anthems.

These reinvented tracks included fan favorites like “Heart Attack,” “Sorry Not Sorry,” “Cool for the Summer,” “Confident,” “Don’t Forget” and more.

When I got to see Lovato live last year, I was happy to hear these old songs again and reminisce on my childhood, but I was even happier to see that the artist appeared comfortable and even excited to perform them so many years later. It may sound like I read too much into it, but I felt inspired to move past my own trauma and reclaim things I loved from my past just like Lovato did.

Fast forward almost a year after the “HOLY FVCK” tour, and Lovato has released “REVAMPED” via Island Records, featuring studio recordings of those punk-ified versions of her older hits. Again, I was thrilled to be able to listen to these versions whenever I wanted, but it meant even more knowing the deeper implications of the album.

Lovato’s voice sounds stronger than ever, hitting higher notes than the original recordings on songs like “La La Land” and “Give Your Heart A Break.” The songs pack an even harder punch knowing that she genuinely loves the music that she’s making and isn’t just doing it to avoid the wrath of the “House of Mouse.”

There are a few fun features on the album as well, from classic rock stars like the aforementioned Strauss and Slash, of Guns N’ Roses, to modern pop-punk and emo heroes like members of The Maine and The Used. This was a particularly smart move in my eyes, since there is so much overlap between people who were passionate emo kids and fans of Lovato’s Disney shows at the same time.

As a whole, this record is a reminder that no one has to stay the same for their whole life, whether you’re one of the biggest stars in the world or just an ordinary person. Your art can grow with you, even if that art was made at a turbulent time in your life.

Sure, the songs are relatively the same, but I think that this album is worth a listen for the deeper meanings of authenticity and growing from your past, not hiding from it. If there are any other former child stars who resent their old music for any reason and want to fall in love with it again, I would highly recommend giving it the “REVAMPED” treatment.


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