Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

The Official Chart of 2015, part 1: Disappointing

The record I was most disappointed by in 2015 was Demi Lovato’s Confident. Lovato is extremely charming and also admirable, but her last few albums have been hit and miss. I first heard her music back in 2009, when she was part of Disney’s market segmentation strategy (Selena Gomez was going to be the baby Karen O for tween hipsters, while Lovato was aimed towards fledgeling emo demographic). She released two excellent albums in this vein (probably the best example of emo-Demi is “Remember December“) before addiction and mental health problems derailed her career. Since then, I think she’s struggled to find a musical identity. Her obvious vocal ability combined, I guess, with the emotional narrative that’s more-or-less unavoidable when celebrity journalism forces you to live a breakdown in public, has led her sing a lot of big ballads (of which the best is still “Skyscraper“), but she’s also made the decision to pursue a more pop direction, with mixed results. The two great lead singles from Confident suggested she’d finally nailed the pop side of her career; unfortunately, the rest of the album consists of some of the worst ballads she’s ever recorded, with slick songwriting and production that is desperately aiming for Sia and ends up overwhelming the emotion Lovato is capable of portraying. Read more↴