Demi Lovato‘s seventh studio album Dancing with the Devil… the Art of Starting Over is the biggest “this is real, this is me” since she sang a song literally called “This Is Me” in 2008’s Camp Rock. Raw, transparent, and almost dreamlike, she took the most devastating and horrific moments of her life and turned it into heart-aching content for fans to not only enjoy, but resonate with. With guest musicians such as Ariana Grande, Noah Cyrus, and Sam Fischer (to name only a few), Demi alongside a team of talented writers impressively curated an album that not only has super catchy tunes but lyrical beauty that will stick to your soul and provoke all those feelings you forgot you had.
It’s safe to say this album can be potentially triggering for a great number of individuals as it deals with drug addiction and the many horrors that accompany that, so proceed with caution. Songs like “Anyone” are enough to make the average joe shed a tear, but the specificity and directness of songs like “Dancing with the Devil” can unhinge deep emotions that some listeners might find a bit too intense. As long as you know what you’re getting into, though, it’ll be easy to spot the brilliance in each song.
The whole album is unsurprisingly overwhelmed by the familiar sounds of modern pop music, but that only adds an element of expectedness to such a well-thought-out artistic concoction. There are many examples of familiar meeting “surprisingly satisfying” throughout the album, such as in “The Art of Starting Over” where the whimsical meeting of pop music and smooth jazz take place, as well as the matching of Sam Fischer’s voice to Demi’s in “What Other People Say,” which felt like an absolute gift to the ears. Simply put, there’s a little something for everyone here.
An album that will surely go down in pop-music history as an instant classic, Dancing with the Devil… the Art of Starting Over is a masterpiece from all angles. Relatable to anyone who’s felt isolated in a crowd, this work of art is the diary entry that so many have longed to express but simply lacked the ability to articulate.