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Track Review

Demi Lovato just released a heart-wrenching new single titled “Sober.” After successfully combatting drug and alcohol addiction for six years, Lovato has confessed to recently relapsing.

Lovato's been open and honest on her road to recovery in previous songs as well as in her documentary, Simply Complicated. And this new track is no different. Piano-driven and soulful, "Sober" finds her asking forgiveness for her failures even as she presses forward.

Where Did I Go?

A soft piano and strong vocals lead as Lovato admits, “I got no excuses for all of these goodbyes." She knows she's hurt people. She says she feels as if she’s “dying inside” and asks to be awakened “when the shakes are gone/And the cold sweats disappear.” Then she adds, “Call me when it’s over and myself has reappeared.”

The singer confesses her relapse to the public and asks forgiveness from her mother (“Momma, I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore"), her father (“And daddy, please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor”) and her friends (“To the ones who never left me, we’ve been down this road before").

Lovato also seems to hint at the emotional and relational costs of casual sex, apologizing to her “future love for the man that left my bed/For making love the way I saved for you inside my head.” And to her many fans, she says, “I wanna be a role model, but I’m only human.”

Understanding that her addicted self is not her true self, she cries (echoing Romans 7:15-21), “I don’t know why/I do it every, every, every time/It’s only when I’m lonely/Sometimes I just wanna cave and I don’t wanna fight/ … Just hold me, I’m lonely.”

Frailty and Hope

Perhaps you know someone who struggles with addiction. I do. I know that it is consuming, that it can feel as if you’ll never recover, even as you're trying so hard to do exactly that.

Lovato gets at those struggles in this song. She's openly discussed her struggle with sobriety in the past; this track once again expresses and exposes her insecurities, her battle with loneliness and her human frailty.

It’s a hard song. You feel her pain amid allusions to abusing both alcohol and sex.

But Demi Lovato's willingness to share her struggles, deep and scarring though they are, is nonetheless admirable. And the end of her song offers hope for a new start. There, she promises to “get help” and admits, “It wasn’t my intention” to be caught in addiction.

Quite beautifully she then does something that we as humans do not do well as she sings, “I’m sorry to myself.”

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Hit No. 1 on iTunes.

Record Label

Island Records




June 21, 2018

On Video

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Kristin Smith

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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