Don't Forget

Demi Lovato

Hollywood, 2008

http://www.demilovato.com

REVIEW BY: Mike Cirelli

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/08/2009

Like the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato’s rock songs are written for kids but produced for adults. Underneath its polished power-pop veneer, Don’t Forget is a gutsy and mature homage to classic Heart, tastefully slathered in rollicking guitars, piano stomps and Lovato’s powerhouse vocals.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The standout track here is “Party,” a fierce and unrestrained Led Zeppelin emulation, with a drum part you’d more likely hear at Lollapalooza than on the Disney Channel. The first seven songs of Don’t Forget are indeed a veritable party. Lovato’s sly producers have fun turning the chaste Disney Channel princess and erstwhile Barney & Friends cast member into a rock goddess, adding a propulsive guitar riff and manic drums to “La La Land,” where Lovato gleefully bites the hand that feeds – the Walt Disney Company. At times the classic rock influences have a rather silly effect, since Demi belts like a hyperactive Avril Lavigne. But why else would anyone over twelve buy this record when meaty girl-rock alternatives like the Donnas are available? It’s spiriting to hear the 16-year-old Lovato trying to be a rock star, and nothing conjures guilty pleasure like a good power-pop record. Even her melismatic duet with the Jonas Brothers is saved from rock ballad purgatory by classically tailored guitar chimes and a rousing chorus.

Other than closer “Believe In Me,” an acceptably mid-tempo ode to self-determination penned by Lovato, the last four songs sag. The schmaltzy ballad “Two Worlds Collide” implodes in on itself and her two boneheaded attempts at spitfire Paramore-style pop rock fall short. When she’s not belting at the mic like Ann Wilson amid an onslaught of guitars, drums and classic rock aping, she sounds disappointingly less memorable than her more popular Disney Channel rivals, the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. If she doesn’t focus on what makes her special -- crunchy Zeppelin farces and a knack for bucking restraint -- Demi Lovato will be easy to forget.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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