Following the release of Demi’s fifth album, Confident, in October 2015, she declared that her next project would be more soulful and meaningful. Around a year later, she then announced that she would be taking a break from music. However, when she began doing charity work, Lovato was inspired to make more music and step back into the spotlight.
Lovato released three versions to her album: the standard edition (comes with 12 tracks in total), the deluxe edition (which includes an additional 3 tracks), and the Target Exclusive edition (that adds 2 more songs to the full project).
The lead single off of Tell Me You Love Me is “Sorry Not Sorry," which is also the album opener. It was released on July 11 and is currently peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. “Payback is a bad chick/ Baby I’m the baddest/ You messing with a savage/ Can’t have this," Lovato sings. The rebellious gospel/pop song is Lovato’s way of saying the best revenge is having fun; it entails a carefree and fun-loving side to her.
The first promotional single that Lovato dropped was the album’s title track, “Tell Me You Love Me." This was initially supposed to be the lead single, but Jay-Z spoke to Lovato and convinced her to set “Sorry Not Sorry” as the lead, and we can see why. The lead serves a powerful chorus that have listeners yelling the lyrics to their haters.
The second promotional single was the dark soul track, “You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore." This track sets the bar for the album because Lovato’s vocals are enlivened throughout the chorus. “Money won’t pay for your problems/ You gotta fix them yourself," Lovato emotionally sings. This song talks about her struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. The track also entails that she is breaking away from her destructive behaviors.
A few weeks later, she dropped the third and final promotional single, “Sexy Dirty Love," before the album was released. “Sexy Dirty Love” generates a pre-chorus around the consistent metaphor of addiction by saying “I’m cravin’ your type/ You’re my new obsession/ Let go of any of any hesitation/ and be my new addiction." The futuristic funk beats make the listener want to get up and dance while singing along to Lovato’s insane vocals.
The next song off the LP is “Daddy Issues”. Many individuals were predicting that the song would be another emotional ballad like 2015’s “Father” that discussed her problems with her late father, but surprisingly, “Daddy Issues” is an upbeat bop explaining her attachment to men and the complications that come after due to her “Daddy Issues”. “You’re the man of my dreams…/ Because you know how to leave/ Don’t know how to commit, but I might want your kid”, she belts.
“Ruin The Friendship”, the next song on the album, is a moody, sexy track that describes a mystery man who she wants to take the chance and be more than friends with. On a side note, rumors have spiraled that this guy is former co-star and tour mate, Nick Jonas. The lines, “Put down your cigar and pick me up/ Play me your guitar, that song I love,” tells the story all by itself.
Tracks like “Cry Baby” and “Games” are the sassy tracks on the album. Both songs showcase her powerhouse vocals and delivers yet another group of bops in Lovato’s discography.
Other tracks such as the incredible ballad, “Only Forever”, and the DJ Mustard-produced “Lonely” featuring rapper, Lil’ Wayne displays the emotional tension within Lovato. In “Only Forever”, fans are speculating that this is part two to the previous song “Ruin the Friendship. She soulfully sings “What if I told you it’s too late/ What if I say that I can’t wait/ What if I need somebody else/ Does that leave me on the shelf?”
In “Lonely”, featuring Lil’ Wayne, Lovato expresses the feelings of past relationships and how they have left her feeling alone. “He felt just like you/His arms, his lips/ His promises were just as smooth," she sings.
She closes the album with “Concentrate” and “Hitchhiker”. “Concentrate” is a stripped down acoustic banger that displays Lovato in a state where she can’t focus on anything but the person she is thinking about. In “Hitchhiker”, Lovato is tired of the single life and is ready to start getting back in the market.
In the deluxe edition, there are three more songs that were added to the album. First is the samba and reggae driven track, “Instruction”, by DJ Jax Jones featuring Lovato and British rapper, Stefflon Don. The last two tracks on the deluxe version is the acoustic versions of “Sorry Not Sorry” and “No Promises” featuring band, Cheat Codes.
Additionally, in the Target Exclusive edition, the two remaining tracks “Smoke & Mirrors” and “Ready For Ya” are honestly the best ballads included in Tell Me You Love Me. “But if I’m telling you the truth, when I cut the tether loose, it was me…saving you,” sings Lovato.
Demi Lovato is single and soulful on her new album and it progresses with each track. She goes into the album discovering who she is and what she stands for. She feels sexy and confident. She isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind. She ends the album with a resolution and she states that she is in a happy place. Tell Me You Love Me, in my opinion, is her best album to date and easily Grammy-worthy. My favorite song off the album is “Games” because it is relatable.
Check out her new documentary, "Simply Complicated" on YouTube and stream Lovato’s album on all music services such as Apple Music, Spotify, and buy it on ITunes.