Cardiology Lessons with Dr. Lovato: Demi’s “Heart Attack” (Single Review)


If the whole pop princess thing doesn’t pan out, at least Demi Lovato‘s got all the makings of a fine cardiologist.

“Heart Attack” is Miss Lovato’s follow-up to her massive 2012 smash “Give Your Heart A Break” (Get it now? She’s all about them hearts lately!), and the lead single from her first album since 2011’s Unbroken. It’s major.

And now that she’s got you right where she wants you…she’s kind of freaking the fuck out about it.

The track was produced by The Suspex (Mitch Allan & Jason Evigan), and, along with Demi and The Suspex, co-penned by Sean Douglas and Nikki Williams, the talented songstress behind “Kill, Fuck, Marry”—and MuuMuse’s Most Anticipated Act of 2013.

Beginning with a crisp, guitar-led verse (and a slightly jarring, stuttering intro out of nowhere), the song goes from JoJo-esque “Leave (Get Out)” melodic territory into full-on, explosive Kelly Clarkson “Let Me Down” screamo mode in about 30 seconds flat, putting the spotlight on Demi’s bananas o’clock vocal skills (and rampant insecurities) the entire time.

The lyrics are, admittedly, a little weird and childish in places: “When I don’t care, I can play him like a Ken doll/Won’t wash my hair, then make him bounce like a basketball.” What? For how long are you not washing your hair? Are you smelly now? That’s kind of a weird thing to say in general.

And then, there’s the semi-problematic “You make me wanna act like a girl, paint my nails and wear high heels.” A bit #LOL #TeenChoiceAwards, no? But I kind of love it for that exact reason? Maybe? Get back to me in a week.

But by the time we’ve hit the pre-chorus (“You make me glo-oo-oo-oo-ow!“), all minor sins are forgiven because those A-Fib-inducing runs (“Won’t let it sho-oo-oo-oo-ow!“) are not playing around. Not. A. Game.

Really though, it’s all about that chorus: “I think I’d have a heart at-AH-AH-AHHHHH-AH-ack!” It’s the kind of crashing, almighty chorus that sucks the air out the room and demands a giant dress billowing in the wind, all while a thousand dancers dressed as doctors fall to the ground and a giant stethoscope shatters into pieces on stage. (Actually, please make that happen, Hollywood Records.)

The bridge on this one is really amazing too, highlighting Demi’s masterful vocals and a more mature route lyrically (which I sort of wish she went for as a whole): “The feelings got lost in my lungs, they’re burning/I’d rather be numb,” she cries out. Total Clarkson. And that almighty harmonizing at the very end? SANG, GIRL.

Like “Give Your Heart A Break,” “Heart Attack” sees Demi toeing the line between post-Disney princess and Full-Fledged Adult Pop Star. We’re nearly there now, apart from the occasionally cringe lyrics–so let’s just pray there’s no song on the album called “You’re My Only Shorty, Pt. II.”

For enthusiasts of lipsync-for-your-life friendly tunes or endlessly repeatable, powerhouse tween-pop with a jagged edge of angst, this one’s an obvious win.

Welcome back, Demetria. Now go wash your hair.

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“Heart Attack” was released on February 25. (iTunes)

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