Demi Lovato: Confident

Ex-Disney star builds on "Cool for the Summer" with a strong, sleek album

Demi Lovato's fifth studio LP is the album she was born to make: a brassy, sleek, dynamic pop production that lets her powerful voice soar to new emotional highs. It kicks off with the fast and furious title track, a bright jolt of energy that sounds like a video game in the best way. Her shoulda-been-song-of-the-summer single "Cool for the Summer" remains fresh, fun and sexy; on "Kingdom Come," she takes a luxurious dip in post-"Dark Horse" trap pop, which works brilliantly until guest MC Iggy Azalea's faux-Big Sean flow drowns the song's buzz. But the most impressive thing about Confident is Lovato's mastery of the power-ballad form – check the raw soul she brings to "Stone Cold." Better still is "Father," a gospel-infused dedication to Lovato's late, abusive father that closes out the album by showing just how much this former Disney star has grown.