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Demi Lovato, 'Skin of My Teeth'

Demi Lovato performs during a premiere event for their documentary <em>Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil</em>.
Rich Fury
/
Getty Images for OBB Media
Demi Lovato performs during a premiere event for their documentary Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil.

Over the past several years, Demi Lovato has positioned themselves as one of the more human pop stars to emerge from the '00s Disney era. The artist's 2021 docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil and accompanying album laid all the cards out on the table when it came to their experiences with rehab, recovery and self-discovery. Since then, they've also come out as nonbinary and starred in a show about extraterrestrials. Now, they're back with new music, emerging with a much harder sound than their previous records with "Skin of My Teeth," a punchy, hardcore-adjacent track that borrows, with a wink, from both "Celebrity Skin" by Hole and the vocal affectations of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." The expletive-laden lyrics can be a little eye roll inducing — starting a song with "Demi leaves rehab again" is a cringe-worthy, self-referential third person opener — but the track fuses their inspirations with their powerhouse vocals for a fun listening experience.

Lovato is no stranger to the rock aesthetic. They've gone on the record to say their favorite band is Turnstile and have publicly proclaimed love for bands like The Devil Wears Prada and Bring Me The Horizon. It's important to make the distinction here between what Demi is doing and what, say, WILLOW and other pop-punk revivalists are doing right now. There's a level of camp to Demi's art; a genuineness and commitment to their music that has been present throughout their career, since they proclaimed "Who said I can't wear Converse with my dress? / Oh, baby, that's just me!" all the way back in 2008. You have to reward authenticity; they've made a song that feels distinctly them, for maybe the first time since their rock-infused Disney pop in the late aughts.
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Reanna Cruz
Reanna Cruz is a news assistant for NPR Music's Alt.Latino.