After a week of celebrating Demi Lovato, our girl's Confident album is finally here. We've been listening all day and here are our initial thoughts. From the rapper we'll be keeping our eye on to the emotional song that proves Demi's emotional and artistic depth, here are the five most important takeaways.
1. A softer, raspier tone
Everyone knows Demi can belt with the best of them, but in the opening verses of "Cool for the Summer" we hear a playful come-hither-type coo that showcased a new delivery for the starlet. That unhinged rasp is heard throughout Confident, including on tracks like "Yes" and on the verses of "Kingdom Come."
The rasp adds an additional emotional feel on "Stone Cold" in particular, projecting a bluesy feel that makes us hungry for Demi to do a Billie Holiday track.
Before Confident, 2013's "Neon Lights" was Demi's most ambitious venture into EDM territory, but our girl fully embraces the high BPMs on album standout "Old Ways." The song is a punchy, trippy dance cut that recalls the excellent Grimes/Blood Diamonds collaboration "Go." Demi's vocal prowess makes the beat buildup that much more epic-sounding, before getting into the wonked-out, trappy breakdown.
Should any pop divas needs help embracing EDM into their sound, they should look to "Old Ways" as a guide song.
3. "Kingdom Come" previews Iggy's new style?
Iggy Azalea said she made an exception to her "feature hiatus" to jump on her good friend Demi's new album. "Kingdom Come" is the result of their musical friendship: a trap-inspired pop that sees Demi utilizing that aforementioned soft rasp, but also letting her vocals fly on the chorus.
Most interestingly, we hear some changes in Iggy's delivery here. The "Fancy" MC sounds a bit huskier during her verse on the bridge, and her vocals are layered at several different points, attempting an additional punch but coming off as a bit awkward.
4. ...But Sirah slays
We knew Sirah from her collaborations with Skrillex ("Bangarang," "Weekends!!!"), but we'll be checking her out more in-depth after the rapper-singer's performance on "Waitin' for Ya." The NYC native takes the haunting, hip hop-inspired production and adds an additional aggressive element with her fierce-yet-laid-back delivery.
Demi also ad-libs in back of Sirah's section, making for a pop-rap match made in heaven. We're dying to see this one live.
5. Demi's most emotional moment yet?
Undoubtedly, the most emotional moment on Confident is the stirring, gospel-inspired "Father." Demi belts about her estranged dad, who left her and her sister when they were young, and dealt with mental illness like his famous daughter. Demi is nearly on the verge of tears while talking out their complicated relationship: "Father, I'm going to say thank you / Even if I don't understand / Oh, you left us alone / I guess that made me who I am."
While the lyrics are incredibly powerful, the most moving moment might be at the 2:58 mark, when Demi belts her heart out over a gospel-choir. It's a time when words aren't enough and the listener can actually feel what she's going through.