Don't Forget is the debut studio album by Demi Lovato, released on September 23, 2008 through Hollywood Records.
- La La Land
- Get Back
- On The Line
- Don't Forget
- Gonna Get Caught
- Two Worlds Collide
- The Middle
- Until You're Mine
- Believe In Me
- Back Around
- Behind Enemy Lines
Demi Lovato was discovered by the Disney Channel during an open call audition in her hometown of Dallas, Texas and made her debut on the short series "As the Bell Rings" on the Disney Channel in 2007.
She subsequently auditioned for a role on the television series "Jonas", but did not get the part.
Instead, she received the lead role in the Disney Channel musical film, "Camp Rock" after she impressed network executives. Later, she auditioned for a role on the Disney Channel series, "Sonny with a Chance", which she also received.
For "Camp Rock", Lovato submitted an audition tape and Gary Marsh, Disney's president of entertainment, asked her to sing.
She recalled that "They kind of put me on the spot. I don't mind it. When people put me on the spot, it's kind of like, 'Hey, I'm not going to get nervous. I'm just going to do what I do.' So I did what I did."
Lovato performed Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man" and Hollywood Records senior vice president Bob Cavallo said that their "jaws just dropped." The stunt resulted in her receiving the lead role in "Camp Rock" and a record deal with the label in early 2008.
Lovato enlisted her Camp Rock co-stars the Jonas Brothers to work with her on the album, saying that her own songs needed "polish." She said that it was "important" to include them on her album as she "would love to have their input anytime".
Lovato felt that she needed help with the writing process as she tended to write songs that were "a little bit more intense and less catchy".
With the album, Lovato wanted to establish herself as a musician; she did not just want to be known as "the girl from Camp Rock'".
She explained that her goal was to have fun with the album and that she would include deeper themes on her sophomore effort, stating: "You won't necessarily find a lot of [dark songs] on the album, but hopefully you will on the next album. It's my first one, so I wanted it to be fun – stuff you can drive around in your car to and jam out to."
In September 2007, Lovato began writing the songs with the Jonas Brothers, during filming of "Camp Rock."
In early 2008, they co-wrote ten songs in a week during the Jonas Brothers' Look Me in the Eyes Tour.
Lovato said, "I wrote it with them and they helped me. They obviously knew the situation, and then we got on the bus one night — songs just started pouring out."
Before the tour's European leg, they went to the studio where the band co-produced the songs with John Fields.
Speaking of the experience of co-producing, Nick Jonas said: "Being able to co-produce was really cool and definitely something we'll be doing a lot more of." He also complimented working with Lovato.
The album was recorded in ten and a half days.
The inspiration behind "Get Back", a Jonas-penned track, was Lovato not wanting to write a mean or heartbroken song as she felt that there was enough of them. Instead, she wanted to write about getting back together with an old boyfriend.
She said, "It's kind of a fun, upbeat song and it's kind of just fun to sing to the person that I wrote it about."
"La La Land" was written by Lovato and the Jonas Brothers about "the pressures of fame".
Lovato said, "You get to Hollywood and a lot of times people can try to shape you and mould you into what they want you to be. The song is just about keeping it real and trying to stay yourself when you're out in Hollywood."
"Don't Forget", was written by Lovato and the Jonas Brothers, the song is about Lovato's experience of falling in love with someone who "just walks away and goes somewhere else".
Lovato said, "I went through an experience like that and wanted to write about it. I got over it, and now a year later I don't have those feelings about that person anymore."
Lovato's musical influences for the album included Paramore, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Billy Gillman, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight.
The album's final track listing consisted of six songs co-written by the Jonas Brothers, including the duet "On the Line." The remainder of the album was produced by Fields.
Lovato enlisted Rooney frontman Robert Coppola Schwartzman for the track "Party", stating that she put her "musical input and lyrics" into the song and Schwartzman helped her, mainly on the hook.
Lovato wrote the song "Trainwreck" on her own and co-wrote most of the remaining tracks, except for "The Middle", written by Fields, Kara DioGuardi and Jason Reeves, and "Until You're Mine", written by Andy Dodd and Adam Watts.
The songs of "Don't Forget" draws from power pop and pop rock music genres.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic wrote that it includes "bright, sugary, snappy power pop, fueled by big, fuzzy guitars and big, muscular hooks."
As most of the album was co-written and co-produced by the Jonas Brothers, critics noted a similar sound between the artists.
Erlewine noted that, unlike the Jonas Brothers' album, "A Little Bit Longer", the album does not attempt to draw an audience broader than the tween demographic, calling it "pure, unapologetic bubblegum".
The lyrics of the songs deal with teen issues, such as being independent or heartbroken.
Digital Spy's Nick Levine wrote that recurring themes include; "staying true to yourself, making up and breaking up, [and] lusting over someone unattainable."
The opening track, "La La Land", is about Lovato feeling "out of place" in Hollywood, demonstrated in the verses, "Who said I can't wear my Converse with my dress?" and "I'm not a supermodel, I still eat McDonald's."
The next track, "Get Back", is a guitar-driven upbeat 1980s power pop song. The track speaks of wanting to get back together with an old boyfriend.
"On the Line" (a duet with the Jonas Brothers) is a breakup song described as bubblegum with a "fizzy" singalong hook.
"Don't Forget", shows a transition from the album's tween pop into more mature glam rock. The song is a midtempo power ballad and features Lovato singing with breathy vocals in a falsetto tone.
According to Joey Guerra of Houston Chronicle, "Trainwreck" and "Gonna Get Caught" include Beatles-esque melodies. "Trainwreck" contains references to medication.
"Two Worlds Collide" is about a young couple who finds strength from their shared dreams.
The ninth track, "The Middle", is about Lovato being eager to go for a ride with a guy, and willing to "crash" and "fall" just for the thrill of it."
In "Until You're Mine", Lovato is desperate to "fill an emotional vacancy with a boy".
Michael Slezak of Entertainment Weekly wrote that the closing track, "Believe in Me", includes "platitudes that might as well have been penned by Dora the Explorer."
"Don't Forget" debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, selling 89,000 copies in the United States during its first week of release.
The album was certified gold by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 copies in the United States.
"Don't Forget" was met with generally positive reviews from critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote a positive review of album, calling it "pure pop for tween people."
He said that the "parade of urgent, insistent guitar pop" is what makes the album memorable, stating, "the kind of pop that feels disposable but winds up sticking around longer than its more considered cousins. This kind of trashy fun was missing on A Little Bit Longer, so it's nice to find that it surfaces proudly on Don't Forget."
Nick Levine of Digital Spy noted that the album sounds "like a female-fronted Jonas Brothers". Levine was positive regarding Lovato's vocals on the album, saying that "she's certainly a stronger singer than the Jonases. In fact, her full-bodied vocal performances are consistently impressive." He noted that the album's "relatively risqué moments [...] come on the tracks that the Jonases have nothing to do with."
Levine rated the album three out of five stars and wrote "None of its eleven songs is terrific, but none is terrible either, and Lovato makes a good first impression, coming off like a more innocent, less try-hard Katy Perry."
Joey Guerra of Houston Chronicle stated that the album "casts Lovato as a female counterpart to the Jonas Brothers." Guerra was mixed regarding Lovato's vocal delivery on the album, calling it "at times too earnest." He also noted that "her rock tendencies sometimes dwindle into unmelodic misses".
Guerra concluded his review, writing, "at 16 years old, Lovato should be allowed some wide-eyed wiggle room. Don't Forget does its job and leaves her room to grow."
Michael Slezak of Entertainment Weekly graded the album a C and wrote, "The Camp Rock star Demi Lovato's debut album might be an indication that today's crop of rocker grrrls [sic] are taking their inspiration from Ashlee Simpson rather than, say, Janis Joplin."
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