A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know the name Demi Lovato, because she's being touted by many as the next big Disney superstar to follow in Miley Cyrus' tween footsteps. Her music has an edgier sound than Cyrus and her lyrics are heavier than the Hannah Montana-style party pop in some songs; several deal with relationship dysfunction, break-ups, and fights. These are the first songs off Lovato's upcoming album that were leaked on YouTube Check back in August for our full review.
What's the story?
The Disney tween music juggernaut continues with the debut of Demi Lovato's album, DEMO. With production help from the Jonas Brothers, the pop album is slated to hit young girls' iPods in August (check back then for a full album review). For now, samples of the album are available on YouTube. Lovato's career began as a preschool favorite on Barney and Friends and has grown up to star in several Disney Channel projects. The 16 year old has been compared to Miley Cyrus and has many fan sites already online.
Based on the sampling of tracks available on YouTube, Lovato's album doesn't live up to much of the hype. The tracks currently available sound like karaoke at a slumber party, with nasally singing and a lot of overly-dramatic breathy vocals. This is most pronounced on the emotionally-charged songs, such as "Stronger" and "Open" -- Lovato would fare much better if she stuck to up-tempo rock-pop dance party songs.
Is it any good?
The songwriting, which has been credited to Lovato (although not confirmed), is awkward at best. "The only noises in my head are consumed of your voice/from all the pain and hatred/how long can you kick somebody down before a foot breaks?" Some lyrics are down-right silly, such as this line from "Shadow" ("I noticed something/it followed me along the way…for now we'll call it my shadow and it said will you replace it so you'll be with me everywhere I go"). Lovato's vocals are energetic and fun on a few tracks, like "That's How You Know" and "Mirror," but when she tries to tackle more mature emotion her inexperience shows. Hopefully the full album will show off her entertaining personality, down-to-earth charm, and better lyrics and vocals.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Disney can help someone become a star. Lovato acted on a Disney Channel series and is starring with the uber-popular Jonas Brothers in the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock. Now she has an album set to come out in the summer. Do you think Disney has a marketing plan to slowly introduce a performer to the public? Are young audiences more receptive to a musical artist that they know from TV? Several of Lovato's songs were "leaked" onto YouTube and Lovato and her friend regularly post home videos on the site. How has YouTube become influential in promoting an artist?