Popular American music artist Demi Lovato has been producing music since her days on Disney Channel, and in recent years has expressed an urge to return to her pop-rock roots. Upon embarking on this new era, Lovato initially released an explicit album, moving onto the album revamping her old pop songs into new pop-rock songs, creatively titled “Revamped.” In “Revamped,” Lovato re-records ten of her biggest hits throughout the years, a few of which we will be taking a look into.
Lovato starts off the album strong using a song so many fans know her best for, “Heart Attack.” The utilization of drums fits very smoothly, which is often difficult to play off when translating pop into rock. Out of all the songs on this album, Lovato’s utilization of her voice and her riffing prowess seems to be most prevalent and fun in this one.
“Confident” is where I start to feel a disconnect from the rock-vibe Lovato is going for. After multiple listens, the song has become more comfortable, however it does not feel like a pop-rock song. If Lovato truly is revamping this album, why not change things up with the structure of the songs instead of just bringing in real instruments and some special effects? The opening, while true to the original recording with its sporty sound, feels out of place when trying to translate genres. Maybe this song just does not translate well to rock if Lovato does not want to change the essence of the song itself to fit a new genre, or maybe I am being overly critical, but this song is a definite pass for me in its new form.
If anyone could turn “Sorry Not Sorry” into a rock song and bring Slash in for a guitar solo (and make it work) it would be Lovato. I was admittedly nervous about its rock translation, however it works very well. The pre-chorus feels very smooth on my ears and immediately makes me want to dance. Slash’s guitar solo, while simple, works very well for Lovato’s style since she’s not going for anything heavy. This one is great!
“Cool for the Summer” in some areas, namely before the chorus, the guitar overpowers her vocal tracks in a strange, distorting way. It is not bad, however there was probably a better way to recreate the essence of this iconic song. It is a bit too close to the original, which is not a bad thing in itself, however the mixing of this song feeling slightly off. A positive about her recreation is that the bridge of this song gave her a lot of room to show off her expanding range, which she fully took advantage of and rocked. If I had to pick to listen to its pop predecessor or this new version, I would pick the original.
The absolute grip “La La Land” had on me as a pre-teen has perhaps made me hypercritical, but the distortion on the guitar, while I got used to it over time in the background, feels very off-putting to begin the song with – almost like being slapped in the face. This song was already bordering on pop-rock when it originally premiered on Disney Channel nearly a decade ago. Besides the expansion of Lovato’s range, it feels very similar to its original. I feel very neutral about this recreation since it doesn’t feel like anything was done to truly revamp its essence.
While we did not go into a deep dive into her songs featuring The Maine and The Used, the utilization of both of those bands and singers meshed very well with Lovato’s own vocals. Slash’s appearance was a very noteworthy addition that aided in translating a classic pop song into a fun pop-rock one. Overall, the album is worth a listen if you are a fan of Lovato, however, she could have made improvements with less vocal distortion, better mixing, and more rock elements to enhance the recreation of classic hits. I can only hope that her dive into rock music continues, as it seems to be something she enjoys.