Demi Lovato’s first two albums were unexpected triumphs from the Disney factory, offering an independent-minded, refreshingly guilt-free take on teen pop. On “Demi,” the “X Factor” judge sounds like she’s trying to make up for lost time by dumbing down and eradicating whatever personality she can. Her voice, once a Kelly Clarkson blowtorch set to low, is now a Katy Perry arc welder, and she pillages Top 40 radio for whatever isn’t nailed down. “Something That We’re Not” — a Ke$ha-lite reality-check to a guy who’s gotten too attached — is kicky and spirited, but “Neon Lights” unimaginatively apes the club-pop rush of Taio Cruz and Rihanna, and the dubstep breakdown in “Never Been Hurt” seems to be there only because it worked for Taylor Swift. The you’ll-never-break-me ballad “Warrior” copies Lovato’s own “Skyscraper,” replacing an intriguingly idiosyncratic metaphor with a dully basic one. “Demi” sounds like Lovato’s grasping for hits, when she used to sound like she was making music and having fun. (Out Tuesday) MARC HIRSH
By Marc Hirsh| Globe Correspondent May 13, 2013
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