In many ways, the debut album of Camila Cabello has been coming for a long time. Maybe it was when Demi Lovato annointed her as the standout of her bandmates on the reality tv show that conceived the girl group Fifth Harmony that would lead Cabello to original stardom. Or when she was given the predominantly lead vocal for most of the singles off Fifth Harmony’s subsequent two albums. Fifth Harmony had definitive hits, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing “Work From Home”. Or it could have been when her side-eyed side projects “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Bad Things” started to become hits and diverged her image away from the band. There are numerous compilations of each member’s pretty open disdain for Camila and at times for the other members of the group. In 2016, an acrimonious split lead Camila to finally going solo. There was tons of online speculation that the creation of 5H was not an outlet for all five girls but a large orchestrated vehicle from executives at Epic Records to break Camila as a solo artist from the very beginning.
Demi Lovato has long been one of the under-recognized from the Holy Trinity of Disney Girls from 2009, never reaching Miley or Selena’s success despite her overwhelming pipes. Her last offering Confident (2015) was tailor made for mainstream success and Demi herself has said as much, that she made it with charts in mind. The project tanked despite “Cool For The Summer” being absolutely perfect for a summer smash. The lukewarm reception of the project lead Lovato to consider an extended hiatus from the industry but a Grammy nomination for Confident emboldened the singer with new validation.
The newfound encouragement lead to Lovato’s new album – Tell Me You Love Me. Lead single “Sorry Not Sorry” did a slow burn up the charts, eventually giving Lovato her highest peaking US single at #6. Onto the review!
Sorry Not Sorry 3/5 | I was indifferent to this as a single (CFTS was far superior) until I saw Demi’s performance at the VMAs. Sorry Not Sorry is perfect for the gym and anyone wanting to kiss off those who did them wrong.
Tell Me You Love Me 4/5 | The second single is a gospel tinged plea for love at your worst and most insecure. (Tell me you love me / I need someone on days like this, I do / On days like this).
Sexy Dirty Love 3/5 | This track could have been taken directly off of Christina Aguilera’s Lotus album. Frenetic and disco heavy, it’s a tailor made banger.
You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore 5/5 | In the vein of Lovato’s previous hit, “Skyscraper”, this soaring ballad sees Lovato singing to her past self and her well documented addictions. Written ambiguously to apply to a bad lover as well, this vulnerable track deserves the single treatment. (I see the future without you / The hell was I doing in the past? / Now that I’ve learned all about you / A love just like ours wouldn’t last)
“Daddy Issues” – 5/5 | When I first saw this title on the track listing, I was expecting something like Lovato’s previous works about her father – For The Love of A Daughter, Father and Shouldn’t Come Back.
All of which were ballads detailing their fractured relationships and hinting at physical and sexual abuse. (Sidenote: Shouldn’t Come Back is one of my favorite songs from Demi – it’s painstakingly sad and the way her voice cracks into tears throughout really sets the framework for a relationship where there is love there but it’s toxic. You want to believe in them but they just let you down). Instead this flips into a club banger about loving guys that leave you – all cause you got daddy issues. (I call you too much / You never pick up / Except when you wanna fuck / And I can’t get enough / You’re the man of my dreams / ‘Cause you know how to leave)
“Ruin the Friendship” – 4/5 | Rumoured to be about Nick Jonas, this jazzy sex laden track is about getting out of the friendzone and into something else. (Your body’s looking good tonight / I’m thinking we should cross the line / Let’s ruin the friendship). Demi has dated Nick’s brother irl so it might be a little weird but props to Nick Jonas if this actually happens because that’s the stuff of legend – hooking up with all three of the Holy Disney Trinity (Miley 3x. Selena 2x and now Demi). It’s sexy and it’s fun, the perfect soundtrack that all potentially bad decisions are made from.
“Only Forever” 5/5 | If “Ruin The Friendship” was the hookup, then “Only Forever” is the morning after. (You know when we get close / Can’t deny the tension between us both / And I don’t wanna pressure you, but I think you need to make a move). Slow and seductive, it’s about lingering in that in between before the relationship is official.
“Lonely” (featuring Lil Wayne) 2/5 | During her world tour in 2012, Demi covered Lil Wayne’s “How To Love” lending a new sincerity to the song. Now, years later the two collaborate on the only feature on the album. Profanity laden loneliness and desperation echo in each chorus. It’s not bad but it’s no standout as a ballad.
“Cry Baby” 5/5 | An exquisite balled that’s an encapsulation of toxic love and pride. (Congratulations, celebration / ‘Cause my heart is the hardest to break / Break up to make up / Just to wake up with mascara all over my face / And I’m no cry baby, but you make me cry lately)
“Games” 3/5 | After being ghosted by a fuckboy that left her lonely in the lead-up songs, Lovato finds her power in Games. (Careful when you play these games / You might find out the hard way that two can play). It’s anthemic in the way that “Sorry Not Sorry” is, especially when you have a fuckboy in your life and need to burn out that rage on a treadmill.
“Concentrate” 4/5 | This song is like an after sex cigarette. Slow and sultry, it’s a song that would make Mickey Mouse blush. (Baby, I’ll do anything you want / Lock me down like I’m your slave / ‘Cause ooh, when you’re done with me / I can’t even concentrate, concentrate)
“Hitchhiker” 1/5 | In the four months that I’ve had this album, many of the songs have grown on me over time but this one still hasn’t. It’s a shame it closes out the album because it’s so unremarkable in an otherwise fine body of work. At least the album ends on a happy note I guess. (I don’t really need to know, if my heart is in danger / ‘Cause as long as you’re the driver / I’m your hitchhiker, yeah)
Overall this is a decent album. It possesses similar themes to Confident. Daddy Issues, TMYLM, CryBaby and Ruin The Friendship are my most played tracks of the album. But my favourite Demi Lovato album will always and forever be “Here We Go Again”. While her more recent albums have leaned into R&B, Demi’s early and forgotten pop rock music has some of the best songs of her discography. Get into Got Dynamite, Everytime You Lie, Catch Me and before I link the entire damn album Falling Over Me.
Tell Me You Love Me is available on iTunes, Spotify and at all music outlets. Demi’s tour with DJ Khaled is due to start in 2018.
FALLON | Fallon Carrington (Liz Gilles) has been working for her family’s business Carrington Atlantic, an energy company her entire life. Thinking her father will finally hand the family dynasty (get it) over to her, Fallon returns home only to find her father Blake Carrington (Grant Show) is engaged to his employee Cristal Flores (Natalie Kelley). The introduction comes via both Blake and Cristal mid-coitus on Blake’s desk. Fallon is unimpressed with mommy-to-be. Making matters worse, Blake gives Cristal the position of COO, the position that Fallon assumed her homecoming would have given her. Fallon is whip-smart and often underestimated, as most women in the working world are. Much like her father, Fallon is also screwing her own employees – her driver Michael Culhane (Rob Riley) and her have a secret relationship.
STEVEN | Steven (James Mackay) is Fallon’s older brother. Liberal minded politically and openly gay, Steven is the opposite of everything Blake wanted him to be. Steven and Fallon are extremely close and he tempers Fallon’s fury towards Cristal. Steven spearheaded a $600M protest against his dad’s fracking operations and left home to work building houses in Haiti. I love Stephen honestly. The facial expressions from James Mackay are pretty priceless. Blake is shown to be ruthless in business but protective of family. He uses Fallon’s insights to further his business deals, but sending Steven instead as the prospective client is also a gay man. The client of course hits on Steven and is rejected by him. At this very bar, is where Stephen meets one Sammy Jo (Rafael de la Fuente).
CRISTAL | Mommy to be Cristal is full of secrets. For starters, she was sleeping with married field engineer for Carrington Atlantic – Matthew Blaisdel while dating Blake. She eventually decides to leave Matthew for Blake (and his millions) but can’t resist saying goodbye before she becomes Mrs. Carrington. Unbeknownst to her, Fallon obtains pictures of their encounter which looks less than innocent and shows these pictures to Blake.
JEFF COLBY & SAMMY JO | Having used and betrayed both of his kids sends both of Blake’s kids running off to the comfort of other men. Fallon runs to Jeff Colby (Sam Adegoke), a tech prodigy that Blake hates to stick it to him and start her own company and be her father’s competition instead of working for him. Jeff clearly has the hots for Fallon and Culhane is clearly jealous. Steven ends up hooking up with Sammy Jo and doesn’t even realize Sammy Jo is scamming him and stealing money out of his wallet.
BLAKE | Upon seeing the pictures of Matthew and Cristal together, Blake is furious but keeps his cool long enough to bring Matthew to the mansion and stage an awkward introduction between Matthew and Cristal just to watch them pretend they don’t know each other to his face and watch them freak out. The eventual confrontation with Cristal brings to light all of the insecurities between the two, but they decide to move up the wedding. This of course, leads to what Dynasty in the 80s was best known for: catfights between Fallon and Step-Mommy.
MATTHEW AND CLAUDIA | Matthew Blaisdel (Nick Wechsler) is married to Claudia (Brianna Brown) but is still in love with Cristal. Claudia was in a car accident (lol of course) and has permanent brain damage and requires constant care. Matthew shows up to evaluate the land site of the deal that Blake pimped out Steven for. Matthew plans to leave Carrington Atlantic and this is his last job as a field engineer. In doing his duties, there is a huge explosion and Matthew dies Final Destination style by a windmill vane to the chest but not before his dying breath is to see Cristal again.
EVERY GOOD PILOT NEEDS A MURDER | Blake and Cristal are married in an over the top ceremony in the backyard. And surprise! Sammy Jo, Steven’s one night stand is actually Cristal’s nephew! Sammy Jo knows all of Step-Mommy Cristal’s secrets but agrees to keep it a secret if she lets him move in and mooch off of her new sugar daddy. Anders (Alan Dale) is Blake’s most trusted butler and is also aware of Cristal’s secrets.And as the happy couple gets ready to leave for their honeymoon, up pulls up Crazy Claudia screaming at Cristal: “you killed my husband!!”
The pilot does a good set-up for future storylines but lacks punch. Episode 2 has to follow through on the foundation of the first but the entire pilot definitely had more potential than the promo clips showed. I love Fallon’s strength and her confidence in her power as a businesswoman. The cast does a good job in making each of their roles believable and the diversity in the 2017 version to the original is a welcome touch.
Dynasty airs on The CW and is available internationally on Netflix.
Much ado has been said about Taylor Swift. Country’s pop chanteuse left the stable last year with 1989 and doubles down on the pop styling in her new offering “reputation“.
As a body of work, the word reputation gets thrown around a lot and it focuses heavily on her deep love for new boyfriend Joe Alwyn and his loyalty to her in the last few years of her life when the media turned on her after she was exposed as a liar by Kanye and Kim. As well documented on the single and subsequent video for “Look What You Made Me“, Taylor Swift is trying to flip the image she has cultivated of being a victim on its head. Multiple references to “they took my crown away” and losing her “kingdom” fill the pages of Swift’s latest work. So let’s review each song track by track!
Miss Miley performed two stellar tracks off of her latest album “Younger Now” this weekend on SNL. Younger Now was Cyrus’ first entirely self written album. It was Cyrus embracing her country roots and the influences that have made her one of the biggest pop stars of this decade.
Change is a comin’ as TBBT enters its eleventh season
Art student Clary Fray’s life is turned upside down when she discovers that she is a Shadowhunter and part of a hidden world on the brink of war.
Previously | Iris gonna die. Caitlin goes full Killer Frost. The 2017 Team Flash enlist Tracy Brand to help them create the tech that will eventually trap Savitar. Oh yes and after 20 episodes of dragging this shit out: Future Barry Allen is Savitar.
Though I haven’t been writing about Riverdale, I’ve been watching all the episodes and though I did post on Facebook that I was on another hiatus till May, I’m gonna sneak in 15 minutes to discuss last night’s Riverdale.