Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato’s careers have followed parallels from the beginning.
They both were born in 1992 in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. Both made their start on Barney & Friends, and both went on to become products of Disney. Last month, Gomez released her second solo album, ‘Revival’, while Lovato released her fifth studio album, ‘Confident’.
Gomez has managed to transcend other child stars, entering a new era of maturity following her break-up with Justin Bieber. She achieved this in an unusually reserved manner, rather than screaming for attention – tabloid or otherwise – to be taken seriously as an artist.
The lead single from ‘Revival’, Good For You is effortless, while second single Same Old Love is a fierce breakup anthem, despite being repetitive in parts, The album itself is experimental and a more mature effort compared to what we’ve seen from the star.
The album’s title track, Revival, is natural and genuine, and sees Gomez at peace – “I dive into the future but I’m blinded by the sun, I’m reborn in every moment so who knows what I’ll become.” Her speech is honest and echoes her new, empowered stance in love and life.
Lovato’s previous album ‘Demi’ cemented her place as a serious recording artist . However, songs like Cool For The Summer sees her undoing all of her hard work.The song is lyrically assertive and self assured, but the sexual suggestiveness sees her making an obvious point that didn’t have to be emphasised so extensively.
The album’s title track is even more forced and aggravated, with the repetition of “What’s wrong with being confident?” seeming inauthentic. Lovato needs to show – not just tell – and stop chasing generic radio hits. Confident, as a stand alone song, falls flat because it doesn’t sound like an anthem for the underdog.
Both artist document their personal struggles in completely differing styles. However Gomez’s new material flows better because she has taken a risk and stepped outside of her comfort zone.
Although Lovato’s may still be more established as a credible recording artist, musically, it feel likes she hasn’t evolved from her previous album.
Conor Jack Martin