Review Summary: One of my favorite albums of all time
The second in Demi Lovato's discography, Here We Go Again, is somewhat of an anomaly. Considered by some to be the absolute weakest of the third, it is considered not as serious as her third nor as fun as her first. And then there are people who merely write it off because they can not stand ex-Disney star Demi Lovato despite the fact she has a song on her first album slewing how controlling Disney were. Yeah, go figure. In my opinion, however, this is the best of the three releases by some way.
For those unfamiliar with Demi Lovato, she is a pop rock artists who rose to fame through her Disney television show Sonny With A Chance and movies Camp Rock, its sequel, and the Princess Protection Program, starring alongside best friend Selena Gomez. Following this, she calved out a career in music, beginning as a pop-rock singer, and then branching out into the more R&B oriented styling of her latest album, 2012's Unbroken. Alongside this, she has had a stint in a treatment center for self harm and addiction, and has made a recovery, which lead to the much more serious tones found on Unbroken, and her departure from acting.
Here We Go Again is the second album by Lovato, building upon the fun rock music that was found on Dont Forget, but adding to this sound and giving it slightly more serious lyrics, whilst never ditching the bouncy feel that made that album so good for the people who like it. The romance and break up lyrics that kind of detracted from the first one are here, but they are considerably better written.
Starting off with the weak points of the album, the song Quiet in my opinion feels too forced, with not enough selling points to make it a good song. Demi's vocals are energetic as ever, but the music feels too pressed to be as loud as radio rock can be, and it drags on for too long. Stop The World suffers from the same flaws, in that it feels too forced upon the listener, and the fact that the chorus is nowhere near as catchy as the rest of the album is, with the lyrics being extremely lackluster.
The drumming is very weak on this album, given that the drumming found on Don't Forget was a cut above pop rock music standards. I find the production on the drums in particular to also be abysmal, being the same overly processed production found on every single radio-oriented song ever released, which really does degrade this album somewhat. Every note is crystal clear, but after a while it really does grate on the listener.
And now onto the good points. To start with, Demi's voice is very strong, combining very soft harmonic vocals with shouted singing, and a rather nice range to it. Every Time You Lie in particular is a great vocal performance, being a lot quieter than much of the album, without losing any integrity. The obvious focus of the album is Demi's vocals, and she really does tick every single box in that department. Whilst they would go on to be overshadowed by the follow-up album, they are still considerably better than any of her radio-rock peers could manage.
The songs themselves are, for the most part, well written. None of these songs were ever going to be very powerful in meaning, but they are exactly what should be expected from such an album. They have a lot of hooks throughout, each being sing-a-long friendly, and some even having hints of other artists in. Got Dynamite has a rather Evanescence feel to it, with the jump from softer to loud, as does the title track.
My personal favorite song from this album is Remember December, which has some great vocal work from Demi, which, despite her young voice, really does drip with emotion. The falsetto's towards the beginning of this song are some of the best vocal moments from the album. Also, unlike many other pop-rock solo artists, the instrumentals on this song are top notch. When it kicks in, this song really is absolute top notch, with some nice guitar work to couple the beautiful voice that Demi possesses.
This album is not really an album for everyone, but for those it does click with it really is a brilliant album. For instance, this is obviously not recommended to the majority of hardcore metal heads, but is instead recommended to anyone who enjoys nice, fast pace, fun music that they can just sing along to and generally enjoy listening to. The single's are all good starting points, and will give an indication as to the sound of this album. This was the peak of her three albums, and remains one of my personal favorite albums of all time. On a purely musical note, this is nowhere close to being perfect, but as an overall, fun, enjoyable, bouncy, light hearted package, this is one of the finest releases i have ever heard 4.5/5