Demi Lovato’s “Cool For The Summer” soared up charts all over the world, hitting #1 in Brazil in less than an hour. Demi’s social media feed was full of sunshine, palm tree and bikini emojis, and fans went berserk over the release. So does it live up to all the hype? Well…not really.
Opening with a fun keyboard rift, you are transported to the summer months. Her vocals are breathy and sultry, and Lovato shows a remarkable resemblance to Katy Perry in this tune as she provocatively reels the listener in saying “Tell me what you want/What you like/It’s okay/I’m a little curious too.”
Escalating towards the chorus, an abundance of synth comes in as Lovato plows home the message that she wants sex, and she wants it now. It is only towards the end of this tune that we hear Lovato’s vocals really open up and she places her trademark powerhouse tones over the chorus. Besides this, they are more measured than we are used to, possibly in an effort to balance the allure and sexuality of the song.
At times the chorus sounds too full, and the excess of instrumentation nearly overwhelms the singer. Given the quality of Lovato’s vocals, they could have stripped it back a little as they did in the verses allowing her voice to shine. Then again, the whole point of the song is that it is a summer anthem, so in that respect the vocals don’t matter as much as the dominance of the catchy keyboard and electric guitar.
In many ways “Cool For The Summer” is a daring and bold single for Demi. It is her first overtly sexual tune, with references to “cherry” and exclamations of “Take me down into your paradise/ Don’t be scared cause I’m your body type,” and she throws in an F-bomb for good measure, garnering her an explicit tag. Due to this, there will be many mothers covering their tween daughter’s ears whenever this comes on the radio.
While these are all obvious steps towards a sultry sound, the underlying feeling that it’s all a bit too much makes it seem rather fake. In fact, the whole song sounds like a sell-out. Sure songs about summertime and sex sell, and Lovato has created a tune that we will dance to for months, but there is no sense of depth or talent to the tune. The reason we love Demi is because she is bold and daring, yet she is also raw and honest. We are used to her recounting personal experiences in her songs, and hearing about the light and shade of every situation within her voice. “Cool For The Summer” doesn’t give us these facets of Lovato, and because of that it can appear cliché.
There’s no denying the success of “Cool For The Summer,” but sadly the quality just isn’t there. Lovato sounds like every other pop artist in this tune, and while credit has to be given for her dedication in its delivery (right down to her whispering, “Shhhh, Don’t tell your mother.”), it’s good for the dance floor and little else. Compared to “Heart Attack” and “Really Don’t Care,” this is merely an album filler. I’d recommend going back into her discography and partying it up to some of her other tunes; there you’ll truly be able to embrace the extraordinary quality of her musicianship.