Now that July 4 has come and gone we have our first bona fide entry in the song-of-the-summer competition. Move over, “Cheerleader,” too airy. Get out of the way, “Bad Blood,” you’re catchy but not summery. Stop singing in your secretly exotic Swedish accent and your not-Hebrew-but-kind-of-Hebrew-name, Tove Lo in “Talking Body.” The gauntlet has definitely been thrown down.
Demi Lovato, after a few years of trying unsuccessfully to replicate the success of her perfect pop hit, “Give Your Heart A Break”, has dropped a new single and lyric video for “Cool For The Summer.” If you haven’t heard it yet, turn on Kiss 108 or Amp Radio and wait a few minutes. Or just look below.
“Cool For The Summer” is a pounding, beat-driven, seriously provocative, girl-on-girl-suggestively-lyriced ode to hot and heavy times. Don’t believe me? Watch the video and read the lyrics. I can’t even imagine how the actual music video will look is the opening gambit was this intense.
While Demi’s getting ripped for channeling/co-opting Katy Perry with the new tune, from a musical perspective I’ll take this song over “I Kissed A Girl” without even listening to a counter-argument. And you’d better get used to hearing it, because it literally screams summer anthem. The song just might rescue Demi's career from her recent run of underperforming singles.
While her first album catapulted her into seven-figure status for her work for X Factor, it was clear from her time as a judge on the show that she was a little overmatched. Even though Lovato was cute, funny, and sassy to Simon, her dreadful performance of “Neon Lights” live on the show was epically bad and her hesitancy to say a bad word about any of the show’s participants was little laughable. Since then, her singles have ranged from bad to OK. “Heart Attack” was too screamy, “Made In The USA” was too cheesy (although I liked it, clearly), “Neon Lights” was even screamier than “Heart Attack”, “Really Don’t Care” never quite caught on (except with my daughters) and her version of “Let It Go,” well… that didn’t exactly work out.
In the aftermath of those second-tier hits and experiments, it wasn’t clear what kind of artist Demi was going to be? Some kind of Jessie J/Carly Rae Jepsen hybrid? A Kelly Clarkson with more beats and less pipes that maybe cracked the top ten every now and again? A more earthly version of Katy Perry? She was getting lapped by everyone, and with all that trial, and mostly error, the next song had to hit out of the park.
Well, Demi doubters, how do you like me now? Nice save.