In early September 2023, veteran musician and actor Demi Lovato released REVAMPED, her ninth studio album and first remix album. It will be the follow-up to 2022’s HOLY FVCK, the first album on which the singer adopted a new style, leaning more towards rock than pop.
During last year’s tour in support of “HOLY FVCK,” Lovato, who uses they/them and she/her pronouns, performed the songs for the first time in years since their days on the Disney Channel and beyond. This shocked many fans considering how outspoken she was about how damaging her experience playing and performing was for the company.
In an interview with the Call Her Daddy podcast in 2022, Lovato shared that while they were grateful for the opportunities they received at such a young age thanks to Disney, they were constantly exhausted by the intense workload and pressure that came with being the star of a series. net. In 2023, she spoke to Billboard about how being in Hollywood as a teenager led to an eating disorder and self-harm habits.
This experience alone could take someone away from the spotlight forever. Add to that Lovato’s experience of being groomed by older men and falling into drug addiction, and you’ve got a very long list of reasons to flee Hollywood as quickly as possible.
However, rather than linking their old Disney-era songs to painful memories of that period, the singers decided to reclaim their art in a new and powerful way. When Lovato started performing these old songs again in 2022, they added a twist.
She brought an all-female band on tour, including legendary guitarist and former Alice Cooper touring band member Nita Strauss, turning sickly sweet teen pop songs into stadium-ready pop-rock anthems.
These reinvented tracks include fan favorites such as “Heart Attack”, “Sorry Not Sorry”, “Cool for the Summer”, “Confident”, “Don’t Forget” and more.
When I saw Lovato live last year, I was happy to hear those old songs again and remember my childhood, but I was even happier to see that the artist was comfortable and even fun performing them years later. It may seem like I’m reading too much into this, but I felt inspired to overcome my own trauma and reclaim what I loved from my past, just like Lovato did.
Fast forward almost a year after the “HOLY FVCK” tour, and Lovato released “REVAMPED” on Island Records, featuring studio recordings of punk versions of her old hits. Again, I was very happy to be able to listen to these versions whenever I wanted, but it meant an even greater understanding of the deeper meaning of the album.
Lovato’s voice sounds stronger than ever, hitting higher notes than on the original recordings of songs like “La La Land” and “Give Your Heart A Break.” The songs pack an even bigger punch knowing that she truly loves the music she makes and isn’t just doing it to avoid the wrath of the House of Mouse.
The album also has some fun moments, from classic rock stars like the aforementioned Strauss and Slash of Guns N’ Roses to modern pop-punk and emo heroes like members of The Maine and The Used. This was a particularly smart move in my opinion, since there’s a lot in common between people who were passionate emo kids and fans of Lovato’s Disney shows at the same time.
Overall, this record is a reminder that no one has to stay the same forever, whether you’re one of the world’s biggest stars or just an ordinary person. Your art can grow with you, even if it was created during a turbulent time in your life.
Sure, the songs are relatively the same, but I think this album is worth listening to for the deeper sense of authenticity and growing from your past rather than hiding from it. If there are any other former child stars who resent their old music for whatever reason and want to fall in love with it again, I highly recommend giving it the “UPDATED” treatment.