Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Sound Check


Demi LovatoDemi Lovato

Let’s start with a potentially divisive declaration: Demi Lovato’s “Cool For the Summer” is the best song written this year. Do with that information what you will. Outside of that track, “Confident” is the next step in Lovato’s progression from wholly owned subsidiary of the Disney Corporation to strong, independent pop star. As she gained experience and grew into her own, Lovato’s music has become more complex and introspective, which, in turn, has made it better. In the realm of bubblegum summer pop, there might not be anyone in the world outside of Taylor Swift who is doing better work than Lovato has turned in over the course of her last two albums. “Cool For the Summer” is easily the best track on the album, but the title track and “For You” are strong contenders that make excellent use of Lovato’s strong, uncomplicated vocals. CV

“Holdin’ the Bag”

No matter what else is going on in life, you can take this to the bank: The Supersuckers are going to hit it hard. One of the most uncompromising country/rock/Americana acts of all time, The Supersuckers have soldiered on for more than two decades and have not only continued to work through Eddie Spaghetti’s throat cancer diagnosis but have kept the pedal to the metal the whole time. From the loose ’50s feel of “Jibber Jabber” to the hard rocking “Let’s Bounce,” this is vintage Supersuckers on display. The best track on the album, however, comes packaged with a guest vocalist, as Lydia Loveless joins the group on “I Can’t Cry.” There are few bands that can shift gears between hard-driving rock and roll and crunchy alt-country as well as The Supersuckers, but “Holdin’ the Bag” is a great example of just how well they manage the trick. CV

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