“Dancing With The Devil… The Art of Starting Over” album portrays Demi Lovato’s hard hitting journey through substance abuse, and resilience

James McNulty, Staff Writer

After over ten years in the pop industry, and two years since their overdose and recovery, singer songwriter Demi Lovato has made their return to the spotlight with their long awaited seventh studio album. Released in early April, Dancing With the Devil… the Art of Starting Over provides a compelling set of songs that is sure to keep the listener engaged while experiencing Lovato’s emotional journey recovering from their relapse.
Preceding Lovato’s album, a Youtube original docu series titled “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” gives clarity to their journey since the recovery and insight on details in order to be transparent with their fans. The docuseries complements the theme of the album to give extra depth with the powerful context of how Demi felt throughout their experience since their relapse.
After the hiatus, Lovato’s album serves everything fans have missed from the artist. Lovato takes this opportunity to be open about their Heartbreak, discovering themself, recovery and resilience with everyone who has supported themself. As listener response shows, the album provides a raw vulnerability that will touch the listener throughout.
“Demi is an honest songwriter. A lot of people are nervous about telling everything. Demi thrives on using [their] music in a cathartic way.” Scooter Braun, Lovato’s manager said (Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil)
In Lovato’s first live performance in 18 months at the 2020 Grammys, Lovato performed the opening song from their latest album, “Anyone”.
“Anyone” is a breathtaking song to begin the album that sets a raw emotional tone that fittingly describes Lovato’s feelings before their overdose. This helps lead the way to the rest of their journey explored in the following songs. This is yet another track that is given a new tone after knowing what Lovato experienced, like that described in Michael D. Ratner’s docuseries that accompanied the album.
“I recorded it days before, and the lyrics were everything that I was feeling, you know, in the hospital.” Demi said (Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil).
The Song “Dancing With the Devil” from the album is a moving display of Lovato’s raw emotions surrounding the overdose. The inclusion of the Devil as a metaphor for their addiction is a great way to instil that these metaphors as a primary aspect to the album and attributes to their impressive writing throughout the album.
The album nailed the mark with its features, bringing on renown singers in the industry such as Noah Cyrus and Ariana Grande. “Met Him Last Night”, ft. Ariana Grande provides itself as one of the album’s standout singles, Perfect harmonies, excellent match of two prominent voices in pop.
“Easy” with Noah Cyrus brings a slowed tempo that carries meaningful lyricism throughout the listen. It yet again features the two’s stunning vocals that complement each other perfectly on top of an instrumental with sounds of violin and piano that enforces the song’s message.
As f0r the final track, “Good Place” serves as an impressive reflection song to leave on a high note and describe the leveling mental state of Lovato in the present day. This does well to contrast the rest of the album and ignite a sense of hope, which brings a needed balance to the message of the album.
Dancing With the Devil… the Art of Starting Over stands as an incredibly impressive set of songs that provide everything that commonly lacks in pop’s recent years. There wasn’t a single skip through the entire listen, and together, this album will stand out in history for not just Demi Lovato, but the entirety of the pop industry.
Edit: Lovato came out as nonbinary using they/them pronouns May 18.