tue 16/04/2024

Album: Demi Lovato - Holy Fvck | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Demi Lovato - Holy Fvck

Album: Demi Lovato - Holy Fvck

Surfing the F word with maximum energy

Demi Crucified by love

Demi Lovato doesn’t do things by halves. She has one of the most powerful voices around, as suited to the yang of punchy hard rock as it is to the sensual yin of R&B or or the contagious sweetness of girly pop.

Self-professed gender fluid, her latest album showcases a perennial love of metal: pumping rhythms, hard-edged guitars and a heavy dose of aggro – but her brand of anger is tinged with an appealing touch of vulnerability. The material is as provocative as ever, with a showers of the F Word, used as an adjective as well as a call to arms. The album is not called Holy Fvck for nothing, as her adolescent insolence is as much as form of credo as it is an expression of her immense vital energy.

Dedicated to living life in the fast lane, with her wounds on her sleeve, she has been in and out of rehab, and sings about it with a mixture of heartfelt openness and over-theatrical anger. She is fuelled by a fury that threatens to throw her off-kilter. “Skin of My Teeth” pulsing with power chords and thrashing drums, mixed for maximum foreground presence, embraces the contradictions of her desire for drug-induced highs and oblivion. In “Eat Me” she addresses the impossible contradictions of her celebrity status and the pressures of the music business: as many rock stars before, she is painfully caught between public persona and her  intimate being. In “Heaven” and “City of Angels”, belting like a crazed siren, she sings of seeking heaven in the partying hell of substance abuse.  

She explores another mode in “Happy Ending”, more pop than rock (perhaps this is the "emo-rock" that she claims her own) she touches on love, unreachable to someone so tormented by a need to fly high. She remains, on the strength of this song full of yearning and sentiment, as versatile as her brilliant, yet tarnished, career has so clearly demonstrated.

Lovato is an artist with gifts, inclinations and fault-lines. Our delight in witnessing a life lived perpetually close to a train crash, makes Demi Lovato as addictive as the substances she thrives on. This is rehab rock at its most pop. “Fuck!” she exclaims with maximum force on several of her songs, as if that single expletive were a profession of faith. Are we crazy enough to believe?

Below: watch the video of "Substance" by Demi Lovato


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