Here We Go Again is the second studio album by Demi Lovato, released on July 21, 2009 through Hollywood Records.
- Here We Go Again
- U Got Nothin' On Me
- Falling Over Me
- Catch Me
- Every Time You Lie
- Got Dynamite
- Stop The World
- World Of Chances
- Remember December
- Everything You're Not
- Gift Of A Friend
- So Far So Great
In January 2009, Demi Lovato announced to MTV News that she had already begun writing songs for her second studio album, as well as revealing its approach: "It's going to take a different sound, so hopefully it goes over well. I sing a lot of rock, but this time I want to do more John Mayer-ish type of songs. Hopefully I can write with people like him. I love their music — it would be amazing."
In February 2009, she began to work and record her second album, right after filming from the first season of "Sonny with a Chance."
In April 2009, Lovato explained about the album's process and collaborating with songwriters from the album including Jon McLaughlin and The Academy Is... lead singer William Beckett.
According to Lovato, the album's writing process was nearly finished in just two weeks, noting that she "basically went from full time acting mode to full time album mode."
As Lovato wanted to accomplish more "John Mayer-ish type of songs," she contacted Mayer's management in order to collaborate him, citing him as one of her biggest musical influences.
Mayer accepted the offer, of which Lovato said, "I was completely shocked [that he said yes]. It was more of a pipe dream. I didn't ever think it would be a reality, but it came true. He was taking a chance on working with a younger artist in the pop realm."
The two wrote three songs together, "World of Chances", "Love is the Answer" and "Shut Up and Love Me."
Lovato said that it was intimidating to work with him as she was worried that he would not like her lyrics, and she would get "super excited" whenever he complimented her.
"World of Chances", the first song she wrote with Mayer, was the only of these songs to make the album's final cut. The song was inspired by Lovato's first experience of love and heartbreak.
Lovato collaborated with Beckett on a song titled "For the Love of a Daughter". Although not planning to write a personal song, a "really long talk" with Beckett resulted in the song being written.
The song chronicles Lovato's relationship with her estranged birth father, who left the family when she was two years old. In the song, she pleads with her father to "put the bottle down" and questions him: "How could you put your hands on the ones that you swore you loved?"
The song was set to appear on the album, but Lovato and her management felt that the song's subject would be too much for her young audience and it was later removed from the album.
In an interview with Women's Wear Daily, Lovato explained: "When I took a step back, I realized I wouldn't like those subjects being talked about in somebody else's home, with a seven-year-old and their mom."
Several other "emotional" songs were also put on hold. "For the Love of a Daughter" was later appeared on her third studio album, "Unbroken", released in September 2011 after Lovato had left the Disney Channel.
Unlike her first studio album, Lovato did not collaborate with the Jonas Brothers on the album as she wanted to see what her sound would be like without their input. She told the New York Daily News: "They were the only people I'd ever written with. Once I wrote with different people, I wanted to go with that."
Lovato said that her first album was "very Jonas" and that it is "a little bit more like what's coming from my heart. It's more me." However, she did work with Nick Jonas on the song "Stop the World."
The majority of the album was produced by John Fields. Other tracks were produced by SuperSpy, Gary Clark, Andy Dodd and Adam Watts.
"Catch Me" is the only song on the album for which Lovato received sole writing credit In an interview with The New York Times, she revealed that she wrote it in her room and that it means more to her than the rest of the album.
"Here We Go Again" explores more mature sounds than "Don't Forget" with Lovato describing the project as "more relaxed and more mature" with a "soulful edge".
The lyrics are more personal than on Lovato's debut album as most of it was inspired by her experiences of love and heartbreak.
Lovato stated that the album does not hold a particular theme as she wanted the songs to be "just more mature, more of me." The album derives mainly from the genre of pop rock.
Speaking to New York Daily News, she said that the album's musical style includes "less rock and more mellow stuff", with a twist of R&B.
"Here We Go Again" is the first track of the album was written and produced by SuperSpy. The lyrics of the song chronicle Lovato's on-off relationship with an indecisive boy, singing that "Something about you is so addictive."
"Solo", the second track, was co-written by Lovato and produced by John Fields. The track is a breakup song with lyrics about self-respect.
"U Got Nothin' on Me", another SuperSpy production, includes influences of 1980s glam metal, in this song she reminisces a summer romance that took a tumble which caused drama to their relationship and that she has nothing on herself to blame.
"Falling Over Me" was co-written by Lovato and Jon McLaughlin and produced by Fields. The song features a "hypnotic" bassline and lyrics about Lovato praying that her crush will notice her affection: "I'm hoping, I'm waiting, I'm praying you are the one." According to Margaret Wappler of Los Angeles Times, Lovato's vocals in the song balance "delicacy and force".
On the fifth track, "Quiet", Lovato longs for a "communication breakthrough" in an awkward relationship, complaining that "It's too quiet in here."
"Catch Me" is an acoustic ballad with a stripped-down production, written by Lovato herself. It speaks of an unhealthy love connection, with Lovato going on even though she knows "how badly this will hurt me."
The seventh track, "Every Time You Lie", is a song with jazz influences and a "jaunty '70s vibe." Kerri Mason of Billboard commented that the song "swings like Maroon 5's brand of radio soul". The song tells about self-respect and not putting up with lies in a relationship.
"Got Dynamite" was written by Gary Clark, E. Kidd Bogart and Victoria Horn and produced by Clark.
The song features "ricocheting" synthesizers and a scattering pop punk riff. Its lyrics use "violent metaphors" as invitations for a boy to "blow up" Lovato's defenses, with lines such as "Log in and try to hack me" and "Kick senseless, my defenses."
The ninth track, "Stop the World", was co-written by Lovato and Nick Jonas about falling in love with someone, but "people don't want you to." The song includes a reference to the infamous criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde: "Like Bonnie and Clyde, let's find a ride."
Lovato wrote the album's tenth track, "World of Chances", with John Mayer.
According to Allison Stewart of The Washington Post, the ballad showcases the "rough grain" of Lovato's voice. The song tells about a girl giving a boy she loves chances to fix their relationship but keeps messing up.
"Remember December" diverges from Lovato's usual pop rock sound into more prominent power pop and synthpop with "a bit of techno." In the song, she reminisces a winter romance: "I remember us together / With a promise of forever."
The twelfth and final track "Everything You're Not" was co-written by Toby Gad, Lindy Robbins and Lovato. The lyrics chronicle self-respect as Lovato sings "I want a gentleman who treats me like a queen/I need respect, I need love/Nothing in between."
The first bonus track of the album, "Gift of a Friend", was co-written and produced by Adam Watts and Andy Dodd. The song is about not being able to "pursue our aspirations or deal with disappointments" without friends.
The second bonus track, "So Far, So Great", was written and produced by Aris Archontis, Jeannie Lurie and Chen Neeman and served as the theme song for "Sonny with a Chance." The "stomping" power pop song is about chasing your dreams.
"Here We Go Again" debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with 108,000 copies sold during its first week.
As of July 2014, the album has sold 496,000 copies in the United States.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, "Here We Go Again" received an average score of 65, based on six reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Margaret Wappler of Los Angeles Times rated the album three stars out of five and noted the Kelly Clarkson influences, writing that "For the bulk of the album, Lovato channels a witty, pouty ingenue in high heels who's not afraid to call the shots, especially after a good cry."
Rating the album three and a half stars, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic noted the album's "mature veneer" and the "subtle shift buried underneath the relentlessly cheerful Radio Disney production and Lovato's irrepressible spunk", writing that "Both sonic characteristics tend to camouflage Demi's biggest moves away from teen pop."
Erlewine called the album: "Not quite as much fun [as Don't Forget], but still fun." The Arizona Republic critic Ed Masley gave the album three and a half stars and recommended it for power pop fans.
Entertainment Weekly's Simon Vozick-Levinson graded the album B− and praised the "hard-edged" tracks such as "Got Dynamite", calling them suggestions of "a direction that might set her apart in years to come".
Houston Chronicle critic Joey Guerra rated the album three stars and wrote: "Despite the Disney machine's presence, Here We Go Again doesn't rely too heavily on 'tween trends, instead relying on Lovato's penchant for rock-drama and teaming her with a slew of older, established acts."
Kerri Mason of Billboard praised the album for not relying heavily on production and Auto-Tune, calling Lovato "a natural talent who could really take flight after outgrowing Disney".
Mason wrote that the album includes "quiet surprises" and potential hits, particularly praising the title track and "Catch Me"."
Jeff Miers from The Buffalo News rated Here We Go Again two and a half stars out of four, writing: "Unlike so many of her Disney-fied peers, Lovato can really sing, and part of what makes her sophomore effort appealing is the lack of in-studio vocal manipulation."
Miers wrote that it is "refreshing" that Lovato does not need Auto-Tune "to mask any lack of natural ability." He concluded by calling the album "safe and pretty predictable, but also incredibly catchy."
Allison Stewart of The Washington Post referred the album to as a "smart, bristly, busy sophomore disc", writing that "Too much of it apes Avril Lavigne, with the standard shouted choruses and hiccupped verses that are beginning to sound very '03."
Stewart named "Every Time You Lie" and "World of Chances" as "direction signs pointing to a much more interesting career."
Awarding the album five out of ten points, Cody Miller of PopMatters was mixed in his review and said that Lovato "desperately wants to be Kelly Clarkson", writing "Lovato can't work miracles with mediocre pop songs like Clarkson, but the young singer-actress has a bigger range than any of her contemporaries, and a better sense of on-record charisma."
Miller was mixed regarding album's content, saying that "there's nothing that really separates the tracks from each other. Most of the album's up-tempo numbers just blend together."
He concluded his review: "Here We Go Again isn't perfect by any means, and when compared to someone like Clarkson or Pink, it's obvious the young singer has lots of work ahead of her if she wants to truly cement herself as a serious, viable pop/rock artist outside of the Disney mold. But given the context, Here We Go Again is certainly enjoyable to some scale."
Rolling Stone gave the album 3 stars out of five, saying "Lovato has chops and spunk akin to a fellow Texas pop singer, though her voice doesn't churn with Kelly Clarkson's gutsy heart yet."
|Don't Forget, Here We Go Again, Unbroken, Demi, Confident, Tell Me You Love Me, Dancing With The Devil...The Art Of Starting Over|