Plenty of pap but no pop for Lovato

Althea Legaspi | Special to the Tribune
July 27, 2009

“The last two years have been insane,” said Demi Lovato during her show, which filled the lower bowl and main floor of Allstate Arena with screaming tweens on Friday. “This past year especially,” she added.

As a relative newcomer to the Disney circuit, it has been quite a year for 16-year-old Lovato. She starred in the Disney Channel movie “Camp Rock” alongside the Jonas Brothers, and she opened their tour. Now she is the star of the Disney TV series “Sonny With A Chance” and the Disney Channel movie “Princess Protection Program.” Last year, her first album, “Don’t Forget,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. Billboard is predicting her new album, “Here We Go Again,” will bow near the top of the chart this week. She recently appeared as a guest on “The View” and “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” Judging from the fan reaction at Allstate, it’s safe to say she’s poised to be Disney’s next breakout star.

Performing live, she showed her music isn’t cut from the same Disney cloth as her peers — she’s a little more rocking and has a versatile voice. A few songs from her new album show promise that she could cross out of the tween world and reach a broader audience; unfortunately, she avoided most of those songs. Occasionally donning a guitar and taking turns behind a baby grand piano, Lovato concentrated on her early, mostly forgettable material, though fans enjoyed it. An “aww” moment came when she invited a young fan onstage to sing “This Is Me” from “Camp Rock.”

While the best of her new material (including “Catch Me,” the only song for which she received sole writing credit) was strangely absent from the performance, the sprinkling of new songs she tested were the most dynamic of the set. The anthemic, catchy “Here We Go Again” was best of show, and “Remember December” demonstrated her rock singing chops.

Lovato certainly has talent. It would be interesting to see her paired with the right songwriters and outside of the Disney umbrella. Right now, however, there’s still too much pap.

Related Links: 3 minutes,15 seconds with Demi Lovato, There’s no slowing down Demi Lovato

Source: Chicago Tribune

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