Demi Lovato Declares Her Album’s Intentions With ‘Confident’
Demi Lovato shared the title track to Confident, her upcoming studio album, early this morning (September 18). The song's Max Martin-produced opening bars sound straight out of a boxing movie, evoking the idea of Demi emerging in a victory pose, ready to announce her plans for world domination — or domination on the pop chart, anyway.
"It's time for me to take it, I'm the boss right now / Not gonna fake it, not when you go down / Cause this is my game, and you better come to play," Demi declares over rollicking beats, finger snaps and sampled sighs. Listen for yourself below.
The concept of confidence has been a prevailing theme in the album's promo cycle: Last month she told Entertainment Tonight that she's "never been more confident" in her life, and told US Weekly that boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama makes her "feel confident and beautiful.'"
Granted, female pop stars seem to be asked where they "get their confidence" fairly often, while interviewers seem to lack the same curiosity about the source of male musicians' swagger. But Demi's been very open about her post-Disney journey of self discovery, and while I personally don't need her to explain why she's become so self-assured (she's talented, wealthy, successful, very attractive, witty and has skin that looks airbrushed in photos but is presented as the product of her own Devonne By Demi skincare line) I do understand that her message has resonated with fans, and that's wonderful.
And yet...I wanted more from this song.
"Confident" is sassy, but ultimately safe. It struts in, promising, "I used to hold my freak back, now I'm letting go," but over the course of the ensuing two minutes and forty seconds, we're treated to backing music tailor-made for a brassy Victoria's Secret ad, or the intro to an ABC drama where the camera slowly pans up to reveal a lady spy's sexy transformation. Demi also teased "her freak" in the heavily bi-curious "Cool For the Summer" lyrics and the bikini-tops-tastic trailer, but the video failed to take things all the way, keeping things chaste and easily digestible for her more delicate viewers. WHERE'S THE FREAK, Demi?
The single was written by Lovato, Savan Kotecha, Ilya Salmanzadeh, and Max Martin, which ultimately means it took three men to shape Demi's declaration of confidence. I'm quite aware that many pop songs are executed by committee — but is Demi's own unadulterated message too much to hope for?
Here's the thing: Demi's got a great voice. Not just her formidable vocal talents, but her, what she says, in real life. Demi stuns in the Confident promo photos — and if the images of an extremely hard-to-attain physical perfection and the tightly coordinated, on-message proclamations of confidence make her Lovatics feel good about themselves too, all the better. I just hope the rest of the tracks on Confident, which Demi's referred to as her realest album to date, a "game changer" even, don't follow a similarly risk-free path.
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