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Demi Lovato had lofty goals for Here We Go Again: "I wanted not only to make a g reat album, but I also want my music to inspire people, to help them get through whatever they're going through in their lives. That's the ultimate goal with ev ery piece of music I make." On Here We Go Again, with ultra-personal songs like the irresistible, buoyant title track, the hard-rockin', sultry "Got Dynamite" a nd confessional pop perfection of "Solo," Demi met-and exceeded-her goals. The m ulti-talented 16-year-old became a household name thanks to TV smashes--her star ring roles in the Disney Channel sitcom "Sonny With a Chance" and movie "Camp Ro ck"--but, Demi says emphatically, "music is my first love." On her 2008 debut album, Don't Forget, Demi collaborated with long-time friends and tour mates the Jonas Brothers, while Here We Go Again finds her branching ou t as a writer with such bold-faced names as John Mayer, "Torn" songwriter Anne P reven, and singer-songwriter Jon McLaughlin. She also writes again with Nick Jon as on the soulful, searching "Stop the World." Demi notes, "When I was younger, my influences were R&B, like Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, and even Billie Holiday. More currently, my inspirations were John Mayer and Kelly Clarkson, so I wanted to combine the two, and hopefully we did that with this record. Of cour se, I was so excited to work with John Mayer." Demi, who has written nearly 300 songs in her young life, was beyond thrilled to co-write with the Grammy winner on her second album. The pair worked up two son gs in the studio, collaborating on words and music, with the winning, thoughtful ballad "World of Chances" landing on Here We Go Again, and a second tune saved for later. Likewise, she was excited to write "Every Time I Lie" and "Falling Ov er Me" with singer-songwriter Jon McLaughlin, admitting to being "totally star s truck, but trying to act cool." In addition to garnering fans among her musical peers, the press are also Lovato enthusiasts, the Boston Herald raving: "besides her pop-ready look, feisty dyna mic and prowess on the guitar and piano, Lovato has a versatile voice that alter nates between smoky tones and endearing cuteness." Yet Lovato, who wouldn't mind attending a music school like Berklee to study classical music and improve her guitar chops, is hard on herself admitting she's a perfectionist: "If the song i sn't coming out right, I'll stop it." That said, Here we Go Again was written an d recorded in three weeks with producer John Field (Rooney, Switchfoot, Jonas Br others) who encouraged Demi to write songs like the spare, breathy "Catch Me," w ritten in a rare quiet moment at home on guitar. Looking to gain a different perspective on live performance, Demi repeatedly wat ched a Bruce Springsteen concert DVD. "Watching that DVD really helped," she adm its. "Instead of worrying about what you look like, or if you hit the notes, it' s understanding that people come to your concert to have fun with you and to exp erience your music with them. You're getting the opportunity to connect with eve ry person all at once. Now I don't beat myself up if I hit a wrong chord on my g uitar." Clearly, Demi is remarkably self-aware, but thankfully not self-involved, and co nstantly striving for improvement. She also remains a typical 16-year-old: A fas t-talking, quick-texting, multi-tasking teen, obsessed with music, clothes, boys , movies, and her recent graduation from home-schooled high school. Some of thos e obesssions can be gleaned on Here We Go Again, as Demi notes: "The last record totally has a theme, but I went through so much this year, and I have so much t o write about, to tie Here We Go Again down to a specific theme would ruin it fo r me."
Demi also experimented with a few songs she ultimately felt were too mature lyri cally or that she worried might be too pointed. "When I'm a little older, maybe my fans will be ready. But this album really expresses my writing and look right now. Fortunately, I haven't had to compromise in my career but you do learn mor e about yourself writing about your life and feelings. It's like a diary, and no t everyone gets the opportunity to do something like this." The Boston Globe agreed that Demi has come into her own, a concert review noting : "The material from Lovato's 'Here We Go Again' showed her improving by leaps a nd bounds, especially on 'Every Time You Lie.' Upbeat but shot through with hurt .it had enough '60s British soul to suit Duffy or Adele." She also offers inspiring lyrics for her young listeners on the empowering and w hisper-to-a-scream bounce of "Everything You're Not," singing, "I want a gentlem an who treats me like a queen / I need respect, I need love, nothing in between. " While there are songs about 'lost love' on Here We Go Again, Demi says, "I thi nk this new album is more hopeful than Don't Forget. This is like being excited about breaking up and making up." Indeed, "excited" is a theme that runs through Demi's music, life and personalit y, and her ever-growing legion of fans can't help but be swept along with Demi's honesty and talent. Whether she's covering a Bon Jovi song live, downloading mu sic (most recently "Hey, Good Looking" by Hank Williams, Jr.--it reminds her of her Papa), or trying to plan a graduation party, Demi's pure enthusiasm for ever ything she is and does is clear. And her followers feel it and respond in kind. "I feel like my fans are more than fans to me, they're my friends," Demi conclud es. "I feel ultimately thankful to them and God, because I wouldn't have any of this if it wasn't for them. I owe it all to them."