Demi Lovato’s ‘Confident,’ Selena Gomez’s ‘Revival’: Former Disney Stars In A Race To Grow Up

It’s kind of eerie how Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez’s careers are similar to one another. Both were born in 1992 in the Dallas-Forthworth area. Both even made their start on Barney & Friends, then both went on to become products of Disney. Lovato was on Sonny With a Chance while Gomez was the breakout star of Wizards of Waverly Place.

Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez not only started their careers on Barney & Friends, but they also started their friendship there. Now both singers have released their super mature albums. Last week, Gomez released her second solo album, Revival, while Lovato released her fourth studio album, Confident.

In a race to grow up and shed their Disney image, both stripped down to partially nude (or fully nude) photo shoots. In the opening of her album, Selena sings, “It’s my time to butterfly/All of work, is so hard earned/More than just survival/This is my revival.”

Meanwhile, Demi proudly chants on the opening track, also titled “Confident,” “I used to hold my freak back/Now I’m letting go/I make my own choice/Yeah, I run this show.”

It’s not like we haven’t seen this before. Miley Cyrus was one of the first out of the Disney pact to shed her good-girl image. She attempted it during her “Can’t Be Tamed” era and then again when she twerked in her “We Can’t Stop” music video.

Now it’s Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez’s turn to prove to the world they’re not little girls anymore. According to a recent report via Vulture, Selena has tried to shed her good-girl image before by cooing the sexy tune “Come & Get It” and with her on-and-off relationship with bad boy Justin Bieber. But even with the sensual and mature sounds on Sel’s new album, there’s something “she’s been holding back,” according to writer Lindsay Zoladz.

Demi Lovato doesn’t hold back when it comes to her power anthem “Confident.” She also lets it all out when it comes to addressing her “personal struggles and triumphs” on her new album. But whereas Gomez’s album is fun, flirty, and sexy, Lovato’s album is kind of underwhelming for her own fans, according to the review. It’s probably because Gomez’s new sound seems more genuine, while Lovato is singing songs that would best fit Katy Perry, Jessie J, or Christina Aguilera.

Jed Gottlieb of the Boston Herald believes that Selena is taking a big musical risk while Demi keeps it safe like she did with her previous albums, Demi and Unbroken. However, that doesn’t mean either singer has a “defined sound or personality” on their albums.

“Of the two, Gomez’s ‘Revival’ comes closer. For her reinvention, she assembled a team of buzzy beat makers and hot hook smiths — Rock Mafia, Stargate, Dreamlab — yet somehow the LP shows restraint. Gomez finds an aesthetic between an ex-Disney star who dated Justin Bieber and the understated, dark anti-pop of Lorde, Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean.”

The writer goes on to claim that even though Lovato’s album will sell better because of her powerhouse vocals, Gomez’s world tour will sell better because of releasing an experimental album.

The reason why Selena and Demi’s new albums are being compared is because their musical careers parallel each other much like their Disney Channel alums Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera’s careers paralleled each other back in the day. Revival has been getting rave reviews on Rolling Stone, the Verge, and several other music news sites, while Confident has fallen flat due to its lack of creativity. It’s because it sounds like something that’s already been released before.

Stereogum sums it up best in a review written by Chris DeVille.

“But Confident never takes my breath away like Revival does; the former is too familiar where the latter feels charmed with unknowable mystique. And in that sense, maybe these albums finally mark Gomez and Lovato’s fork in the road.”

What are your thoughts? Do you like Demi Lovato’s Confident or Selena Gomez’s Revival more or do you like both for different reasons? Share your thoughts below in the comment section.

[Photos Courtesy of Toglenn and Neon Tommy via Wikimedia Commons| Cropped and Resized | CC BY-SA 2.0 ]