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COLUMN: Demi Lovato's ‘Revamped’ is a rock rebirth of classic hits


Demi Lovato's ninth studio album, "Revamped," is a refreshing rock-infused twist on their classic hits. This marks Lovato's debut in re-recorded albums, prompting nostalgic fans to headbang in unison. 

In August 2022, Lovato released “Holy Fvck,” featuring original punk rock songs, marking a departure from their Disney pop star image. "Revamped" further solidifies Lovato's evolution into the rock genre. 

In a video posted to their TikTok account Sept. 15, Lovato said, “This is for my Lovatics, my fans that have been with me since I first recorded these songs years ago, and now that they’re rock songs I hope that you love them as much as I do.” 

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The album consists of 10 tracks drawn from Lovato’s earlier albums. Similar to Taylor Swift, who adds “Taylor’s Version” after each song on her re-recorded albums, Lovato’s “Revamped” album adds the label “Rock Version” to each track.  

Even without these labels, though, it is unmistakably clear to any listener that this is a full-fledged rock album.  

The album opens with the powerful “Heart Attack.” With over 24 million Spotify streams, this song sets the punk tone for the rest of the album. Originally released as part of their 2013 album, “Demi,” the track now has raging electric guitars, strong drums and soaring vocals.  

At the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, Lovato performed “Heart Attack” live as the first anthem in a medley of songs featured on “Revamped.” They also sang “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Cool For The Summer” as fire and smoke machines blared from the stage.  

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Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” re-recording features Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash, and opens with short, staccato-like drums and a guitar intro as Lovato sings. A hair-raising voice screams “wait a minute!” in the background. 

When Lovato reaches the chorus, themes of revenge and confidence come to life, as they wail, “Feeling inspired ‘cause the tables have turned / Yeah, I’m on fire and I know that it burns.”  

Following the bridge, Slash delivers an electrifying guitar solo, setting the stage for the song's final climax. 

Also on the album is “Tell Me You Love Me,” the title track of Lovato’s 2017 album. The track starts slow, with only Lovato’s vocals and electric guitar, allowing the lyrics to feel more raw. As the song progresses, there is a robust flood of vocals and instruments, transforming Lovato’s vulnerability into power. 

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Lovato's next track on the album pays homage to their hit song "Neon Lights." In a TikTok post, Lovato expressed that the song has become one of their favorites following its re-recording. Lovato admitted to feeling tired from performing the song previously but has since developed a renewed love for playing it live.  

Compared to the rest of the tracks, “Neon Lights” sounds the most like pop music. However, the intense drum beat and collaboration with rock band The Maine, definitely adds a new exuberant flavor to the song.   

Diverging from intense rock songs, Lovato’s new version of “Skyscraper” as a stripped-down, slower tune exacerbates the track’s emotional intensity. Lovato’s vocals are beautifully paired with an organ and guitar, reminiscent of the original 2011 version from their “Unbroken” album. 

“Don’t Forget,” the title track from Lovato’s 2008 debut studio album, concludes “Revamped.” Lovato’s vocals are accompanied by soft synths and drums that build into a monumental zenith of rock.  

As Lovato wraps up “Revamped,” the softness returns, featuring only a piano and Lovato’s emotive vocals to finish.  

Overall, Lovato’s new take on their old hits showcases their multidisciplinary talents as a musician. “Revamped” serves as a testament to Lovato’s artistic growth and their unceasing exploration into the rock genre.  

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