After a gorgeous and raw return to the music scene with “Anyone,” a stunning ballad, Demi Lovato has unleashed the lead single for her upcoming studio album, her first since her overdose. Titled, “I Love Me,” the bouncy track has all the right intentions, but, unfortunately, the execution falls flat. The track aims to be a self-love anthem, but between the lazy bridge and post-chorus, it doesn’t quite meet the mark.
“I Love Me” does have some solid lyrical moments (“‘Cause I’m a black belt when I’m beating up on myself/But I’m an expert at giving love to somebody else”); Demi and her collaborators deserve their credit for finding some ways to reinvent the self-love theme because Lord knows it’s gotten stale. With that being said, Demi faces a problem similar to the one that plagued her mostly excellent Tell Me You Love Me — her vocals are severely over-processed. After “Anyone,” an unmixed and unmastered ballad, the tight pop sheen on “I Love Me” is a lot to stomach. Her vibrato seems to fight the studio effects in a way that makes her voice sounds more aggressive than it actually is. Furthermore, the track’s instrumental is essentially colorless and it simply takes too long to sound even a little bit interesting. It doesn’t help that that unimaginative “yeah yeah yeahs” of the post-chorus and the bland bridge contribute nothing of substance to the track. At least her belts and ad-libs towards the end of song provide a sliver of a saving grace.
“I Love Me” is confusing because Demi has been on a hot streak of truly great pop songs, like her effervescent last lead single, “Sorry Not Sorry,” and strong deep cuts, but this is just not great. Let’s just hope this is a slight misstep and she’ll come out the gate swinging with her next single.