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Tag: Things That Came Out Early (1-2 of 2)

Demi Lovato's new album 'Demi' now streaming online -- read EW's review here

Demi-Lovato-Review.jpg

Demi Lovato sees your early release, Vampire Weekend, and she… well, she doesn’t raise you, she’s just doing it also.

The teen starlet turned hard-knocks graduate and general multimedia juggernaut has put her new album, Demi, online a week in advance of its official May 14 street date. Read our review from the magazine on stands this Friday below.

Demi Lovato, Demi (Hollywood)

Unlike other ex–Disney princesses, Demi Lovato knows that growing up means more than just being old enough to do Jell-O shots. And two years ago, she proved it with her third album, Unbroken, which found her singing about self-cutting and abuse with a bravery that felt very adult. Since then, she’s also proved herself as the most mature judge on The X Factor. (Though, to be fair, Simon “Gonna Wear V-Neck T-Shirts Till I Die” Cowell and Britney “Just Smile Pretty” Spears weren’t major competition.) So it’s too bad that her new album, Demi, sounds like such a decisive return to teen pop. Transformed from an edgier young woman back into America’s sweetheart, she’s doing the fallen-Disney-idol thing in reverse.

Most of Lovato’s musical ­influences aren’t old enough to rent a car. The beach-ball bounce of “Something That We’re Not” could’ve been swiped from a One Direction album, and “Made in the USA” has Miley Cyrus’ name written all over it in lipstick. Worse yet, some lyrics yank back the curtain to expose the older songwriters behind these songs. Why is Lovato asking some guy to “take me home like you’re DiMaggio”? Wasn’t A-Rod available? Even the con­fessionals, like the pretty piano ballad “In Case,” don’t reveal much beyond the usual lovesick-girl struggles. It’s as if some PR rep went through her lyrics with a Sharpie, ­eliminating anything too personal, subbing
in words like “you” and “me” and “baby.” Eventually that Sharpie must’ve crossed out so much, it erased Lovato herself. C+—Melissa Maerz

Best Tracks:
* “Made in the USA”: Soaring Top 40 Pop
* “In Case”: A stripped-down ballad

More on EW.com:
Lauryn Hill sentenced to three months in prison for tax evasion
Justin Bieber accosted by fan on stage in Dubai — VIDEO
Justin Timberlake: Second ’20/20′ album due in September, new tour in October

Depeche Mode's 'Delta Machine' now streaming on iTunes -- read EW's review here

Depeche-Mode

Depeche Mode
Delta Machine
ROCK (Columbia)
How is it that Depeche Mode are one of the few stadium-filling bands from the ‘80s still standing?

It isn’t just that Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher remain upright, though that is impressive considering Gahan’s well-documented struggles with substance abuse. The real feat is that the Depeche Mode sound—obsessively constructed monoliths of synth-based, salvation-obsessed twitchiness—still feels fresh 13 albums into their career.

From another angle, it’s obvious: Most of the time they’ve been so far ahead of the curve that even their most pedestrian output sounds inventive, and you need only look at their followers—from Nine Inch Nails to Frank Ocean—to see that game recognizes game.

Delta Machine is the strongest album the group has put out this century, brushing up against the locked-in grooves of the group’s late-‘80s crest that began with 1984’s Some Great Reward and ran through the revolutionary classic Violator in 1990.  Much of that credit should probably go to collaborator Christoffer Berg, who has previously worked with Swedish electro-terrorists the Knife; he lends a long-lost toughness that runs through much of Delta, especially the end-of-days bass loop that underscores “Secret to the End” and the insistent pounding of “Soft Touch / Raw Nerve.”

In the wrong hands, those instincts would be pushed to the point of abrasiveness, but like any goth greats, Gahan and Gore recognize the need for equal parts candy and razor blades, so the songcraft and melodic flourishes on Delta Machine are as strong as the sonic boundary-pushing. And Gahan still has one of the most darkly sweet baritones in rock, despite the cracks that have snuck into his upper register; some of the gauzier tracks, like the brooding “Alone,” start out drab until Gahan brings the honey, at which point they suddenly shift into deeply compelling technicolor.

Like David Bowie, DM inexplicably chose one of the more bloodless tracks from their big comeback album as the first single, and though Gahan is a fine balladeer, the two songs that find the BPM knob turned way down (the deep-but-plodding “Heaven” and the drippy “The Child Inside”) are digital quicksand. Experience has taught them to finish strong, which is why the stomping, anthemic “Soothe My Soul” and the bluesy, explosive “Goodbye” end Delta Machine on a hallucinatory high note.

The former is especially brilliant at expressing everything that Depeche Mode does well: Sharp rhythmic undercurrent, snarling guitars, paranoid-sounding keyboard hiccups, and Gahan bellowing “I’m coming for you.” Depeche Mode are the definitive synth-rock sharks: They’re survivors, and they can’t stop charging forward. A-
Best Tracks “Soothe My Soul” / “My Little Universe”

Delta Machine is now streaming here.

More on EW.com:
Vampire Weekend premiere new songs ‘Diane Young’ and ‘Step’: Hear them here
Report: Singer Michelle Shocked goes on anti-gay rant at San Francisco show
Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. dies at 39

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