I love Demi. She’s outspoken about her struggles with addiction and body image. She’s honest and real, seeming down-to-earth despite how long she’s already been in the spotlight at 27. She wants to make other people feel good about themselves and know that they’re worth it, that they can do it.
That’s the theme in “I Love Me”. It’s an admirable message, and the song has some punch, quite literally as she talks about beating up on herself. Vivid imagery and Demi’s signature big voice are anchors of this track.
The cute, whimsical melody, paired with her soaring vocals on the chorus, creates a satisfying dynamic of loud vs soft. I wonder if there is intentional symbolism there about the battle between being yourself and feeling like you have to hide who you are. If not, I’m going to infer it anyway.
It seems like a very personal song, one that I and a lot of other people can relate to. I know it’s something near and dear to Demi’s heart, as she spoke about on The Ellen Show. However, the song isn’t quite the home run I wanted it to be, despite it’s accessibility and dream-pop affinity. I certainly applaud the message, but songs that are written specifically to be anthems, like this, often fall flat because they’re written to become anthems. It suffers from maybe trying too hard.
I love a good personal song. Nearly every song on Tell Me You Love Me punched me in the face with how much feeling and realness were behind it. But it’s obvious when a song is written to pander to a certain crowd, no matter how authentic that place comes from.
I don’t even think it’s a bad thing to write a song for a specific purpose, because that’s what all songs are written for. Even if you’re trying to appeal to a certain crowd or intentionally write a hit or write an anthem for the youth, the oppressed, the whoever, it’s not necessarily a BAD thing. It’s just bad when you can tell it was done for that reason. Not that I would call “I Love Me” bad. I could just tell from the first listen that it was packaged to fit into the “Female Empowerment Anthem” category.
I support Demi’s message and her desire to be a role model and a harbinger of body positivity–and to be fair, it’s hard to write a song to reach and inspire a group of people on purpose, while still feeling authentic. Though, it can be done, see “Eye of the Tiger”, Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful”, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”. It doesn’t mean these songs are better than “I Love Me” or any less contrived in their approach, but they seem to achieve something “I Love Me” cannot: authenticity.
However, this isn’t a death sentence for the song, which is still quite catchy and has a lot of positives. I’m sure “I Love Me” will still gain popularity and favor because of its intention. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I would rather listen to Demi’s other work thus far. I would honestly say that “Confident” is the better anthem, whether or not it was trying to be.
Highlights: The vocal delivery on the chorus; the harmonies; the beautiful melody
Lowlights: The clunky lyrics at times; the whole “we wrote this for YOU” aspect that