Unbroken (Demi Lovato album)
|Studio album by Demi Lovato|
|Released||September 20, 2011|
|Demi Lovato chronology|
Unbroken is the third studio album by American singer Demi Lovato. It was released on September 20, 2011, by Hollywood Records. Lovato described the album as "more mature" and "a little more R&B/pop" than her previous material, citing Rihanna as the major influence. While some of the album's lyrical content was heavily influenced by Lovato's personal struggles, it also deals with lighter subjects, such as love, self empowerment, and having fun.
The album received generally mixed to mostly positive reviews from music critics, with some who commended its ballad tracks and praised Lovato's vocals, but others who dismissed it as "immature" and criticized its amount of "party songs". Commercially, the album peaked at number four on the Billboard 200, with sales exceeding 97,000 copies in its first week of release. It was eventually certified Gold. Unbroken performed well internationally worldwide, and peaked in the top 40 in many countries including, Australia, Canada, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland. It was certified Platinum in Brazil, and Gold in Chile and the Philippines.
The lead single "Skyscraper" was released on July 12, 2011. The song was a commercial success and peaked number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Lovato's second highest-charting single to date, behind "This Is Me" and her most successful until "Heart Attack" cracked the Top 10. It also reached the top twenty in Canada, New Zealand and Scotland and sold over 1,000,000 copies in the United States, where it was certified platinum. The song was well received from music critics, who generally cited as a highlight on the album. "Give Your Heart a Break" was released as the second and final single from the album on January 23, 2012.
After the release of her second studio album, Here We Go Again (2009). Lovato was dedicated to her acting career, where she appeared in Sonny with a Chance and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. In July 2010, Lovato began working on her third album and recording the first track of the album with producer Dapo Torimiro.
The same month, Lovato said the album was "creating a new sound", it would be "fun. A little more R&B/pop." Later, in conversation with AHN, quoted Rihanna and Keri Hilson as influences. At the time, Lovato revealed she had not rushed the album, stating "Every other album I haven’t had time to really take my time and craft it like I really wanted to do because I was finding spare time between a television show, and movies, and touring, and then all over again. I've worked on (the album) for the past year and really gone hard over the past few months, but you can definitely tell that I took my time with this record".
In August 2010, Lovato entered the Jonas Brothers Live in Concert Tour with them and the cast of Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. On November 1, 2010, Lovato left the tour and enter the treatment facility for "emotional and physical issues", giving her medical attention for almost three months. After finishing her treatment, Lovato returned to work on the album in February 2011. In April 2011, Lovato announced she was leaving Sonny with a Chance, where she portrayed the main character Sonny Munroe, because she wanted to focus on her music career rather than acting.
In July 2011, Lovato described the album as "more mature" than their previous sound and more fun and light than her first single, "Skyscraper", while other tracks are more intense. On August 11, 2011, Lovato announced the title of her third album Unbroken. The title came from the song of the same name which appears on the album. "I thought that the title really matched how I am today; I'm unbroken and I'm standing strong", she said.
In early June 2011, Lovato told Seventeen magazine:
I love being back in the studio! It's been very therapeutic to be able to express my feelings and talk about who I really am, through my music. It also helps that I've been lucky enough to work with such talented people on the record so far! With my new album, I'm hoping to provide inspiration for girls everywhere who are going through the same issues I've faced. I think this will come through in a lot of the material. My first single is really special to me— to me it symbolizes my journey from the person I was to the happy healthy person I am today, and the fact that people are able to rise above anything, despite the odds. I'm so excited to share all of this with you guys! The experience has been amazing so far and I'm really enjoying the whole process. There are definitely a lot of emotions that go into making an album. I feel blessed, inspired, and nervous with anticipation, but mostly, I feel excited about the future, and about sharing this new record with my fans!
A sample of the song "All Night Long" featuring vocals from Timbaland and rapped verses from Missy Elliott. The song serves as the opening track for the album.
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Around 20 tracks were recorded for the album, one of which is a duet with an R&B singer. She also worked with Dreamlab, Rock Mafia, Ryan Tedder, and Kara DioGuardi. About working with Lovato, Tedder commented, "Demi blew me out of the water vocally! I had no idea how good her voice is. She's one of the best singers I've ever worked with. Literally, that good... I mean, she's a Kelly Clarkson-level vocalist. And Kelly has a set of pipes". He also explained that the song they co-wrote together is much more upbeat than Skyscraper. "I think everybody wanted to hear her talk about that, and this is basically flipping it 180, saying, 'Oh, by the way, I'm still also just young and want to have fun.' There's even like a little rap feature on it."
|The New York Times||(favorable)|
The album received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. According to review aggregator Metacritic, the album has a score of 59 out of 100 based on 7 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". While some critics have praised Lovato's vocals and growth in musicianship compared to her previous two albums, as well as some of the album's ballad tracks, others dismissed it as "immature" and "confusing", referring to the album's amount of "party songs".
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album a mixed review, scoring it 2 and a half stars, criticizing that the album is full of "party songs" that "act like nothing is wrong in her world at all". He also said that, "It's hard to party knowing Lovato couldn't quite handle the clubs, while it's not easy to trust the melancholy flowing through the ballads knowing she's ready to cut loose". Erlewine indicated "All Night Long", "Who's That Boy", "Fix a Heart", and "Skyscraper" as the AMG track picks. Monica Herrera of Rolling Stone also gave the album a mixed review, scoring it 2 out of 5 stars, saying "She's grown into her voice. Now, if only her music would grow up too." Mike Schiller writer of PopMatters gave to the album 5 out of possible 10, writing that "Unbroken is a strange beast, an abomination of sorts, a fully-realized album with an extra head and shoulders sticking out of the midsection". He also criticized the first four songs, writing that the album "would be a far better album without them, but like it or not they’re there, sitting right out in front. It’d seem tragic if such a descriptor wasn’t being used to describe an album so laced with actual, genuine tragedy".
However, Jon Caramanica of The New York Times gave the album a positive review, saying that it "represents the opportunity for Demi Lovato to wipe clean several slates, something she is well suited for." Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly also gave a positive review, scoring it a B+, "Clearly it's been a tough year for Lovato. But as Rihanna could tell her, sometimes bad years make great songs". Becky Brain of Idolator wrote Lovato has a "killer voice and the A-list material to put it to good use", adding, "It's difficult for many young female pop stars to transition successfully from squeaky-clean Disney kid to respected adult recording artist. But so far, Demi's doing a spectacular job, and she's doing it without having to show some skin or sing about hooking up in a club." Absolute Punk scored the album 81 out of 100, summarizing it by saying "Nothing, and nobody, is broken beyond repair, and Unbroken showcases that beautifully". Entertainment Weekly listed Unbroken as the seventh best album of 2011.
"I don't know! I got sick of the songs. When I would play them onstage, I was just like, 'Oh my gosh, I can't play these anymore.' And I have to wonder, was that album really who I was? Was I just experimenting with sounds? I think I wanted to try something more R&B, but when I tried that, it wasn't really me. And so with this album [Demi], I'm so excited to play new music rather than getting tired of the songs".
The album debuted at number four in the US Billboard 200, with sales exceeding 97,000, it also peaked at number one on the digital albums chart. Elsewhere, the album debuted at 90 on the Mexican Albums Chart and on its second week on the chart, jumped to its peak of number 9 and spent a total of 8 weeks on the chart. On the Australian Albums Chart it debuted at 20, her highest debut and peaking album there. Its highest entry was number 3 in the New Zealand Albums Chart, making it her first top 3 album there. It spent a total of five weeks on the chart all in the top 40. The album was also Lovato's first ever album to chart on the Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders) chart, debuting at number 59, and jumped to 25 on the following week. The album did not find much success on the Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia) chart. However, where it debuted at number 99. On the Swiss Albums Chart it debuted at 29, an improvement compared to her last album, however, just managed to make it into the top 50 on the Austrian Albums Chart, debuting and peaking at 50. On the Spanish Albums Chart the album debuted at number 24, her second highest peak there, and in her second week fell to 42, while on the Argentinian Albums Chart granted Lovato another top 10 debut as scored the number 8 spot only to fall off and reappear two weeks later. The album debuted at number 271 on the Japanese Albums Chart, with sales of 444 units in its opening week, also her lowest debut and peaking album there. As of 2014, the album has sold 492,000 copies in the United States.
"Skyscraper" was released on July 12, 2011, as the album's first single. The song was written by Toby Gad, Lindy Robbins and Estonian singer Kerli Kõiv and produced by Gad. The song has reached at number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Elsewhere, the song peaked at number 18 in Canada, number 9 in New Zealand, number 45 in Australia and at number 7 in the United Kingdom. The song was critically acclaimed by music critics, some of them praising Lovato's vocals and the inspirational lyrics. Lovato performed the song several times, including America's Got Talent, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Dancing with the Stars. The song was officially certified platinum in the United States on April 24, 2012.
"Give Your Heart a Break" was released on January 23, 2012, as the album's second and final single. It was originally announced that the album's second single would be "Who's That Boy" featuring Dev, but it was later scrapped due to Dev's pregnancy. The song was written and produced by Josh Alexander and Billy Steinberg. Lovato performed the song at MTV's New Year's Eve on December 31, 2011 and the People's Choice Awards on January 12, 2012. The song received critical acclaim by music critics, praising the production of the song as well as Lovato's vocals. Lovato appeared on American Idol on March 15, 2012, performing the single. The song peaked at number 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song also reached number one on Billboard's Pop chart in September 2012. The song was certified triple platinum in the United States.
|1.||"All Night Long" (featuring Missy Elliott and Timbaland)||
|2.||"Who's That Boy" (featuring Dev)||
|3.||"You're My Only Shorty" (featuring Iyaz)||
|4.||"Together" (featuring Jason Derulo)||
|7.||"Fix a Heart"||Kiriakou||3:13|
|10.||"Give Your Heart a Break"||
|12.||"In Real Life"||
|13.||"My Love Is Like a Star"||
|14.||"For the Love of a Daughter"||
|15.||"Skyscraper" (Wizz Dumb Remix)||
|International edition bonus track|
|16.||"Rascacielo" (Spanish version of "Skyscraper")||
|Japanese deluxe edition bonus tracks|
|16.||"Rascacielo" (Spanish version of "Skyscraper")||
|18.||"Yes I Am"||
|Japanese deluxe edition DVD|
|1.||"Skyscraper" (Music video)|
|2.||"Skyscraper" (Music video – behind the scenes)|
|3.||"Track by Track interview by Demi Lovato" (Special video)||9:21|
|UK iTunes Store bonus videos|
|16.||"Unbroken" (Live from Hershey Concert)||5:37|
|17.||"Fix a Heart" (Live from Hershey Concert)||3:29|
|18.||"Track by Track interview by Demi Lovato" (special video)||9:21|
(*) denotes co-producer
(^) denotes additional producer
- Adapted from AllMusic.com.
- Creativity and management
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||492,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|United States||September 20, 2011||Hollywood||Standard|||
|United Kingdom||January 1, 2012||Deluxe|||
|Japan||March 21, 2012|||
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