Unbroken

In the past year, Demi Lovato faced rehab and lost her role on a Disney Channel sitcom, her princess-next-door image shattered. On her third LP, her newfound vulnerability sometimes makes for good songs: "Would it make you feel better to watch me while I bleed?" she challenges an ex (or a tabloid-fixated public) on the tear-jerker ballad "Skyscraper," her voice becoming a sinister whisper. But Unbroken is mostly sunshine and slumber-party hooks, complete with reggae doo-wop ("You're My Only Shorty") and Lovato's ditzy seductress act on "All Night Long." She's grown into her voice. Now, if only her music would grow up too.

Listen to "Skyscraper":

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From The Archives Issue 1140: September 29, 2011