Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me

Not this time, Demi…


Katherine St Asaph: Is it a side effect of having a decade-plus of career, starting in the Disney tween years, that at the decrepit age of 25 you’ve aged into “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” rewrites? Or does it come of being sucked into the X Factor/Idol vortex, that parallel universe in which current R&B sounds like this and vocal bludgeoning alone determines musical quality? The message, certainly, seems to come from a parallel universe; “you ain’t nobody till you got somebody” is enough to undo three years of Fifth Harmony songs. Wherever the horns came from, they should go back.

Ryo Miyauchi: The horns come in like this is “Confident, The Sequel,” yet the usual screaming and hollering formula of Demi Lovato becomes a vehicle for an emotion that is the opposite of confidence. The excess of voice suits her loss more than self-affirmation, especially when she pushes the titular phrase as demand rather than a question as she did before.

Alfred Soto: She was doing so well until the uplift.

Edward Okulicz: Yuck, this melds stridency with desperation in a most unappealing way. I hope the significant others of everyone who had a hand in writing this song are sleeping with one eye open.

Stephen Eisermann: Not sure what’s worse, the unnecessarily loud production or the problematic lyrics (just kidding, it’s the lyrics). Demi sounds nice, but single shaming isn’t a good look, just ask Ciara.

Anthony Easton: Performative apologetics with diva-lite singing over a bed of horns, begging for a love that will never exist, has a desperation of adult desire, and the much-too-muchness of teenage self-absorption. 

Jonathan Bradley: The tinny horn fanfare is grandiloquent enough for a mid-’00s rap posse cut. So too is Lovato’s poise; she’s almost assured enough to dispel her lyric’s underlying neediness. The “ooh-ooh” hook, however, seems to imagine it might have been gospel in a past life, when really it was a Coldplay stadium ballad.

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