Release Date: March 24th 2023
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Demi Lovato– Heart Attack (Rock Version) – Single (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
- Heart Attack (Rock Version)
Over the past few years, Demi Lovato has been probably one of the most controversial and polarising artists currently active. From having overdosed and clinging onto dear life in 2018, to creating two of the most musically varied and diverse albums in 2021 and 2022; Demi is influential to this current generation- we blogged about her and you can read about Demi’s influence here. She has also received quite a lot of hate and vitriol, most of it undeserved. She came out as non-binary in 2021, created a new podcast in that same year as well, and also announced various film and TV projects. She changed her pronouns last year; and it seemed that wherever Demi went, there was also criticism aplenty. Was it warranted because of whatever reason? I don’t know- some people must have thought that Demi was a magnet for attention and drama purely because of her own doing. But as a musical artist, and solely from her music; I firmly believe Demi has created some of her best work with her past two albums- the maturity, vulnerability, authenticity, emotion, honesty and dedication in these songs is one of the most respected and commended in the industry today, in my own honest opinion. Demi recently released a re-recorded version of her 2013 smash hit “Heart Attack”- and though it’s not a new song, the rendition is different enough and stands tall on its own to be worth a ‘review post’ and a brief analysis.
What is the purpose of re-recording albums, if you’re not Taylor Swift (here and here) and Bryan Adams (here and here)? On the surface- no purpose. But with Demi’s “Heart Attack”, which was recorded with the intention to sound different rather than the intention to sound the same as the original versions; the heart behind this version is that the story of the song now strikes a different chord to Demi that she had to record the song again. The lyrics itself speak about putting up your walls and not being honest and vulnerable with someone else (as a friend or as a potential romantic partner), for fear of rejection; and in light of everything that has occurred with Max and with Wilmer; the song hits different for Demi, and she wanted everyone to hear what it means to her now. Objectively, this rendition is superb, and Demi’s vocals are just sublime, but it is Demi’s willingness to go back to such a different time in her life and her tenacity to sing about difficult thematic subjects again, that makes this track all the more poignant and Demi all the more a brilliant artist period.
If you ask me, I actually prefer “Heart Attack (Rock Version)” over the original pop recording- and from the comments, it seems everyone else agrees, and is hoping for a greatest hits project from Demi filled with rock versions of past pop hits. Whether that comes to fruition is anyone’s guess, or perhaps Demi is recording another studio album. Regardless of what Demi does next, the updated version of “Heart Attack” reminds us of Demi’s timelessness as an artist and the anticipation we all must feel with regards to something new from this compelling and powerful artist. Demi’s work till now has shown us a true fighter and someone who has great amounts of resilience and strength. Regardless of what we may say or think or believe about Demi Lovato’s gender identity, the fact of the matter remains- that gender identity shouldn’t discredit or even discount the music of the person, ever. Demi’s discography still stands tall, and songs like “Skyscraper”, “Give Your Heart A Break”, “Sorry Not Sorry”, “Confident”, “Really Don’t Care” and “Let It Go” will undoubtedly stand the test of time; and as with “Heart Attack”, Demi’s songs speak to the core of what it means to be human. Are you all excited for what Demi has in store for us in 2023? Or will you only listen to Demi’s songs from yesteryear?
They [the ad-libs on the original version] were pretty off-the-cuff, they kind of just came to me in the moment. It was a pretty simple and easy thing. Well, actually, some of the notes were really hard. I remember kind of struggling to hit a few of those in the studio.
It feels amazing, being able to see the song continue to reach people and inspire people to hit those high notes. I used to try and hit those high notes in my favorite songs — it’s really cool that people are starting to do the same with mine.
I was so young, and I was a completely different person back then. I hadn’t come out as non-binary yet, so when I look back, I see a totally different person than I am today. But I still love that girl, I love that part of me. I saw [my fans] rocking out to it, and it just brought a lot of joy to my heart. I wouldn’t have believed that I would be re-recording this song for a 10 year anniversary because it was that special. But being able to see it from that perspective today is really exciting to me.
Oak Felder: I realized Demi, in that era, sounded like a completely different person … Demi’s voice now is a witness and a testament to the things that she’s been through as a person. Once you’ve gone to hell and you’ve come back, you really appreciate life … when I hear her sing about things that are emotional or painful or joyful, there is a lot more experience and understanding of those emotions behind the way that she’s singing it now. Once I got there, the production just came right out. It was about capturing what she feels now. I think that’s the magic that comes from a great song, where you get to go, ‘Okay, we did that version. We don’t need to rely on it. How do we feel today, and does it still hold up?’ I think it does.
RIYL: Avril Lavigne, Olivia Rodrigo, Evanescence, Nickelback, Lifehouse, Creed, Train, Goo Goo Dolls, Skillet