Review |  Demi Lovato returns to her roots with ambitious album 'Holy Fvck'

Posing lying on a bed in the shape of a cross and making references to BDSM practices, Demi Lovato announced the release of their eighth studio album, ‘Holy Fvck’. Unlike the more pop and R&B-oriented scope of the previous titles, the new production would take Lovato back to her roots – an interesting move to recapture what’s been left over and bring back the pop-rock nostalgia of ‘Don’t Forget’ and ‘Here We Go Again’; however, the singer-songwriter is now dealing with a phase in her life where she has cast aside the immaculate figure of the “Disney star” and given way to a fully realized person who has already had considerable experience signing her tracks.

‘Holy Fvck’ part of a very interesting aesthetic that serves as the rebirth of one of the biggest names in the contemporary scene – and who, with each album, has something new to tell us. It is almost emblematic that Demi treated the production as a “pop funeral”, renouncing the plastered image that it had in previous years in favor of a critical and essential resurgence to keep us involved in a trajectory filled with symbolism and self-references that reflect the obligation of necessary maturation. It’s no surprise, then, that we have a production infused with the purpose of dissonance, whether from raging vocals or instruments like guitar, bass, and drums. The result is pleasant for the most part and reflects the performer’s versatile ability to know how to reinvent herself (whether for better or for worse).

It had been a while since Lovato remained faithful to the persona immortalized by the media – that is, within a sugary and relatable spectrum. Since ‘Tell Me You Love Me’, in 2017, the artist had been betting on more personal and impactful lyrics, openly talking about the problems she had faced and the space she occupied in a world still marked by conservatism and prejudice. The same happened with ‘Dancing with the Devil… The Art of Starting Over’, an ode to empowerment and how the pain she felt for so long helped her overcome various obstacles. But nothing could prepare us for the pop-punk and hard-rock celebration of what we can only understand as one of her most ambitious entries in her discography.

While “Skin of My Teeth”released as a lead single, prepared listeners for this new chapter in Demi’s career, is the opening track, “Freak”performed alongside YUNGBLUD, which sets the tone of the work. Driven by the well-known hard rock and brushed up on the singer’s initial attacks, it is remarkable how Lovato breaks free from the restrictions she carried a few years ago and bets on personal narratives that demonstrate her anger against the execrable normativity and the way she should behave within a very traditionalist society. It is customary for us to see this attitude of the artist as enraged, but, in fact, she is just putting out what she always wanted to say (“I am what I am, and what I am is a piece of meat”).

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The theme of liberation and empowerment extends to the rest of the tracks, which allows for the creation of a solid cohesive line that keeps us involved from beginning to end – and which, similarly, makes extensive use of somewhat tiresome repetitions. , overshadowed by the power of the singer’s interpretation. In an aesthetic comparison, ‘Holy Fvck’ carries slides almost equal to ‘Love Sux’in Avril Lavigne, in which systematic and explosive production takes full advantage of the full potential all the time, forgetting the nuances that we would like to understand the complete journey. However, this does not mean that the result is bad – quite the contrary: here we have a person who knows which way to go with his career and who has freed himself from the shackles of what others want him to be.

“Skin of My Teeth” plunges headlong into a reflection on herself, in which living has become a fleeting survival; “Substance” takes the opportunity to criticize people’s lack of depth, dealing with the sad ephemerality of human relationships (although the poignancy is sometimes too raw and free of metaphors); “29”easily one of the album’s best tracks, shocks through the artist’s measured production and powerful vocals, infused with a history of age disparity, daddy issues and the fine line between consent and manipulation; “4 Ever 4 Me” and “Happy Ending” arise in the opposition of hard rock in semi-ballads guided by the melody of the guitar and that, although with some flaws, serve as a purposeful break of rhythm for the public.

The work is full of references and tributes that Lovato pays to those who inspired her throughout her career: the adoption of pop-punk refers to the image that Lavigne immortalized since her debut with ‘Let Go’in 2002, while the amalgamation of rock subgenres and the confessional tone takes us back to the band’s latest album The Pretty Reckless, ‘Death by Rock and Roll’or the continuous impact that Paramore had in the phonographic scene. All without draining Demi’s identity or performance and without culminating in a lifeless, amorphous snowball.

‘Holy Fvck’ it may have its problems, but that doesn’t make it a less brilliant album. This new chapter in Demi Lovato’s career is a welcome addition to a career permeated by shocking events and established as an immaculate reflection on what it means to be alive. The boldness desired by the singer is passionate and, in general, is successful and deserves to be revisited in future endeavors.

Note per track:

1. Freak, feat. Yungblud – 4.5/5
2. Skin of My Teeth – 4/5
3. Substance – 4/5
4. Eat Me, feat. Royal & The Serpent – ​​5/5
5. Holy Fvck – 4.5/5
6. 29 – 5/5
7. Happy Ending – 3.5/5
8. Heaven – 4/5
9. City of Angels – 3.5/5
10. Bones – 4/5
11. Wasted – 4/5
12. Come Together – 4.5/5
13. Dead Friends – 4/5
14. Help Me, feat. Dead Sara – 4.5/5
15. Feed – 4/5
16. 4 Ever 4 Me – 3.5/5

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