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Album Review: Demi Lovato revisits old songs with her new sound in ‘REVAMPED’

In 2022, Demi Lovato released her eighth studio record, “HOLY FVCK,” which saw the return of her early rock sound from her first two albums, “Don’t Forget” (2008) and “Here We Go Again” (2009). It was a change for Lovato as she maintained her well-known pop sound for over a decade with hit albums like “Confident” (2015) and “Dancing With The Devil… The Art of Starting Over” (2021).

In her newest record, “REVAMPED,” Lovato returns to her past hits like “Cool for the Summer” (2015) and “Heart Attack” (2013) and breathes new life into them. She also includes lesser-known songs, like “Skyscraper” (from “Unbroken,” released in 2011) and “Don’t Forget” (from “Here We Go Again”), in her revamped tracklist. Not only are they sonically changed with heavier drums and scratchy guitar riffs, but some lyrics were changed, too.

For instance, in “Cool for the Summer - Rock Version,” the original lyric “Don’t mind your mother” is changed to “Go tell your mother.” These changes, both lyrically and sonically, are meant to reflect Lovato’s growth between the release of the songs and where they are now in their life. In an interview with Zach Sang, Lovato states, “(“REVAMPED” is a) greatest hits record without being a greatest hits record.”

The record is also laced with upbeat, pop-punk drums and driving guitar riffs that keep each song hurling towards the next. On tracks like “Heart Attack - Rock Version” and “Don’t Forget - Rock Version,” there are raging metal-like breakdowns with scratchy guitar riffs and almost electric-type drums. These artistic choices fit well with the already-established chorus and verses in tune with their original songs. Sometimes, it feels slightly off-beat, like with the cadence of “Sorry Not Sorry (with Slash) - Rock Version” clashing with its verses, but it makes for a good song overall.

Speaking of “Sorry Not Sorry,” this album includes several collaborations with different rock artists like Bert McCracken from The Used in “Give Your Heart A Break - Rock Version” and alternative rock band The Maine in “Neon Lights - Rock Version.” There are also guitar features with the aforementioned Slash from Guns N’ Roses on “Sorry Not Sorry” and Nite Strauss, who is Lovato’s touring guitarist and rips on the rock version of “La La Land.” They make for great additions to their respective tracks, especially McCracken, who absolutely kills it during his verses and harmonies in “Give Your Heart A Break.”

However, the collaborations do not outshine Lovato’s powerful and commanding vocals. The new additions and changes to the original tracks show their growth as a person and how much they’ve changed as a performer and vocalist. There are several times throughout this record where Lovato goes nuts with different vocal runs and pitches that go above and beyond what we’ve seen from her before. Do we need it on every track? Probably not, but it would be wrong to say that what they did - showing off their range and hitting impossibly high notes - was not impressive.

In all, “REVAMPED” is a nostalgic record that casts Lovato’s pop hits in a new light. Her new sound perfectly covers the bones of her past tracks, making them feel like completely new songs. Collaborating with other rock artists is also exciting and adds another level to the tracks. I recommend this record if you’re feeling nostalgic or in the mood to listen to new pop-goes-punk songs.

Rating: 4/5


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