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Tell Me You Love Me is the sixth studio album by American singer Demi Lovato. It was released on September 28, 2017, by Island, Hollywood, and Safehouse Records.[1] Primarily a pop record, the album also incorporates elements of R&B. Lovato described the album as having a more "soulful" side than their previous work, and named Christina Aguilera, Aretha Franklin, and Kehlani as its major influences. Contributions to the album's production came from several producers, including Mitch Allan, David Massey, Oak Felder, Stint, and John Hill.

Lyrically, Tell Me You Love Me explores themes of recovering from heartbreak, letting go of past demons, and being single.[2] The album's lead single "Sorry Not Sorry", released on July 11, 2017, went on to become Lovato's highest-charting single in the United States, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and being certified 5× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[3] The title track was released as the album's second and final single on November 14, peaking at number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 and later being certified Double Platinum by the RIAA.[4]

Tell Me You Love Me received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised its production and the emotion in Lovato's vocal performance, with some deeming it their finest album to date. It peaked within the top ten in numerous countries worldwide, peaking at number three on the US Billboard 200. In support of the album, Lovato embarked on the Tell Me You Love Me World Tour in 2018.[5]

Recording and development

Following the release of their fifth studio album Confident in October 2015,[6][7] Lovato told Latina that their follow-up album would have a "more soulful vibe".[8] In October 2016, they announced via Twitter that they would be taking a break from music and the spotlight in 2017, stating "I'm not meant for this business or the media".[9] However, they revealed to Mike Adam in August 2017 that after doing charity work earlier that year, they felt rejuvenated and started creating music again, which eventually led to an album. The singer mentioned that a title and release date had been chosen, but they were not allowed to disclose them at the time.[10]

Lovato also told MTV News that month they were influenced by many artists for Tell Me You Love Me, including Aretha Franklin, Christina Aguilera, and Kehlani.[11] They stated that the album was heavily inspired by Aguilera's album Stripped, calling it "a breakout album that really transformed her into the icon that she is today".[12] Lovato stated that they worked with producers Pharrell Williams and Mike Will Made It, but their work would not be featured on the album.[11]

Release and promotion

On August 23, 2017, Lovato posted an 18-second video to their official Twitter account. In the video, they are seen singing the title track, "Tell Me You Love Me", in a recording studio. As the camera pans out, the footage appears to be reflected on Lovato's eye while zooming further back and unveiling the standard edition album cover; a black and white close-up photo of their face with the album title underneath. The album cover is then dimmed, to reveal the release date of September 29, 2017. Along with the video and release date, Lovato also announced that the album would be available for pre-order at midnight on August 24, 2017.[13][14] On September 13, 2017, Lovato unveiled the tracklist with help from their fans on Twitter.[15]

On September 29, 2017, Lovato celebrated the album by hosting a live stream event with Vevo, where they discussed the album and delivered acoustic performances of "Sorry Not Sorry" and "Tell Me You Love Me".[16] Lovato also partnered with audio electronics company JBL to host a pop-up exhibition in New York City, showcasing the album's editorial photography and custom murals inspired by the album, created by contemporary painter Lora Zombie.[17]

On October 26, 2017, Lovato announced they were going on tour.[18] The tour started in San Diego on February 26, 2018 and concluded on July 22, 2018, in Paso Robles. DJ Khaled and Kehlani were announced as opening acts on the first North American leg of the tour. Jax Jones and Joy were announced as opening acts on the European leg. Iggy Azalea and Lauv were set to perform as opening acts on the second North American leg of the tour, in which one of the shows was cancelled, leaving Azalea as the only opening act on the leg. Becky G and Jorge Blanco were announced as opening acts on the Latin America leg of the tour, which was later canceled due to health issues.

Singles

  • "Sorry Not Sorry" was announced as the lead single from the album on July 6, 2017 and then released on July 11, 2017. It was written by Demi Lovato, Oak Felder, Sean Douglas, Trevor Brown and William Zaire Simmons. It was produced by Oak Felder, Trevor Brown and William Zaire Simmons. The song peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100, and became their highest charting single there. On July 19, the official music video appeared on Demi's YouTube VEVO channel.
  • "Tell Me You Love Me" was released as the first promotional single from the album along with the pre-order on August 24, 2017. The song was released as the second and final single from the album on November 14, 2017.[19][20] After being released as a single, the song debuted and later peaked at number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100.[21]

Promotional singles

  • "Sexy Dirty Love" was released on September 22, 2017. It was the third promotional single.[24] The track sold 8,486 copies in its first week of release.[25]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic72/100[27]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/Template:Plural[28]
Entertainment WeeklyB[29]
Herald Sun3.5/Template:Plural[30]
Idolator4/Template:Plural[31]
Los Angeles TimesPositive[32]
MTVPositive[33]
Pitchfork7.2/10[34]
Rolling Stone3/Template:Plural[35]
San Francisco ChroniclePositive[36]
Slant Magazine3/Template:Plural[37]

Tell Me You Love Me received generally positive reviews from music critics. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 72 based on six reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[27] Album of the Year assessed the critical consensus as a 65 out of 100, based on 35 reviews.[26]

For Pitchfork, Jamieson Cox stated that Lovato "has finally settled into a consistently compelling space: flinty, flirty R&B that's just as thrilling hushed as it is at full blast", and noticed the improvement over their previous works: "It gives you enough space to see Demi as something other than a no-holds-barred belter. You want to get to know the Lovato behind Tell Me You Love Me, something you can't definitively say about any of her other releases".[34] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote that the album "runs the gamut from churchy soul to seductive slow-burners to showstopping ballads designed to showcase every single one of Lovato's diva moves", giving the album 3.5 out of 5 stars.[28] The Herald Sun rated the album 3.5 out of 4 stars, deeming it "impressive" and felt "Daddy Issues" was the best track.[30] Writing for Idolator, Mike Nied gave the record 4 stars out of 5 and stated that "Demi finally hits her stride" with the album. He added "Instead of sprinkling one or two hits among a lot of filler, the hitmaker has finally recruited the right team and found her voice over sparkling mid-tempos and frenetic bangers. The album has the distinction of being her most cohesive and is one of the strongest to drop in 2017" and compared the album to Christina Aguilera's Stripped.[31]

In a positive review, Aidin Vaziri of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that Lovato "feels jilted, and conjuring the battle cries of pop predecessors like Christina Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson, she unleashes on exes and backstabbing friends with the kind of vocal firepower best appreciated from a safe distance".[36] Los Angeles Times writer Mikael Wood praised the album's tracks as "catchy and funny and sexy and daring", and wrote that Tell Me You Love Me "presents a singer burning with purpose".[32] For Entertainment Weekly's editor Tim Snatc, Tell Me You Love Me "suffers for some of its excessive vocal fireworks." Giving the album a B rating, he felt that the best parts of the album are "on the first half and showcase Lovato's swagger, especially the standout gospel-tinged title track."[29] Writing for Rolling Stone, Maura Johnston stated the album "gets bogged down" in chilled-out trap pop. She later commented slow-tempo tracks like "Concentrate" balanced the downtempo and the energetic tracks.[35]

On December 4, 2017, Time ranked the best albums of 2017, and gave an honorable mention to the album, noting "Lovato's full-throated pop on Tell Me You Love Me" and acclaiming Lovato for "stepping outside of comfort zones and creating new pathways for music to follow".[38]

Year-end lists

Critic/Publication List Rank Ref.
AllMusic Favorite Pop Albums - AllMusic 2017 in Review No order [39]
Billboard 50 Best Albums of 2017: Critics' Picks 40 [40]
Los Angeles Times Mikael Wood's top 10 albums of 2017 No order [41]
People 10 Best Albums of 2017 6 [42]
PopSugar The Best Albums of 2017, According to Us 10 [43]
Rolling Stone 20 Best Pop Albums of 2017 15 [44]
Thrillist The Best Albums of 2017 11 [45]

Commercial performance

In the United Kingdom, Tell Me You Love Me debuted at number five on the UK Albums Chart, becoming their highest charting album in the nation.[46] The record entered at number eight in Australia, becoming their second top 10 album on the ARIA Albums Chart after Confident reached number three.[47] The album opened at number three on the US Billboard 200 with 79,000 album-equivalent units, which consisted of 48,000 pure sales, and became their sixth consecutive top five entry on the chart after all five of their previous studio efforts charted within that range.[48] In Canada, it arrived at number 4 and became their fifth consecutive album to reach the country's top five.[49] In August 2018, the record was certified Platinum in the US, becoming Lovato's second album to achieve this milestone, before 2015's Confident achieved the status in early 2020.

Tracklist

Standard version[50]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Sorry Not Sorry"Demi Lovato, Oak Felder, Sean Douglas, Trevor Brown, William Zaire SimmonsFelder, Brown, Zaire Koalo3:23
2."Tell Me You Love Me"John Hill, Kirby Lauryen, StintHill, Stint, Mitch Allan, Scott Robinson3:56
3."Sexy Dirty Love"Lovato, Felder, Brown, SimmonsOak, Brown, Koalo3:33
4."You Don't Do It For Me Anymore"Lovato, Jonas Jeberg, Chloe Angelides, Ashlyn Wilson, James "Gladius" WongJeberg, Anton Kuhl, Allan, Robinson3:17
5."Daddy Issues"Lovato, Felder, Simmons, DouglasOak, Koalo3:09
6."Ruin The Friendship"Lovato, Ido Zmishlany, Brittany Amaradio, AngelidesZmishlany3:53
7."Only Forever"Lovato, Felder, Douglas, Ilsey Juber, Toby GadOak3:17
8."Lonely" (featuring Lil Wayne)DJ Mustard, Lil Wayne, Sarah Aarons, Nicholas Audino, Te Whiti Warbrick, Lewis HughesDJ Mustard, Twice As Nice, Allan, Robinson4:41
9."Cry Baby"Lovato, Taylor Parks, Angelides, Noonie Bao, Sermstyle, Kevin HissinkSermstyle, Hissink, Taylor Parks3:42
10."Games"Lovato, Felder, Brown, Simmons, DouglasOak, Brown, Koalo3:08
11."Concentrate"Lovato, Dayyon Alexander, Jimmy Burney, Jeff Shum, Adam TresslerRush Hr., Allan, Robinson3:17
12."Hitchhiker"Lovato, Alexander, Burney, Winston Howard, Shum, TresslerRush Hr., Allan, Robinson3:43
Total length:42:59
Deluxe version[50]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
13."Instruction" (Jax Jones and Demi Lovato featuring Stefflon Don)Jax Jones, MNEK, Lovato, Stefflon DonJax Jones, Mark Ralph2:45
14."Sorry Not Sorry" (Acoustic)Lovato, Felder, Douglas, Brown, SimmonsSteve "Styles" Rodriguez3:25
15."No Promises" (Acoustic) (Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato)Lovato, Leff, Dahl, Foote, BlockDahl, Lauv, Foote, Mokita, Allan3:52
Total length:53:01
Target edition[51][52] and 2021 Deluxe edition re-release[53]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
16."Smoke & Mirrors"Lovato, Ben Abraham, AaronsAbraham, Aarons, Allan, Robinson3:57
17."Ready For Ya"Lovato, Sir Nolan, Simon Wilcox, Nick JonasSir Nolan3:30
Total length:60:28

Trivia

  • Demi confessed there won't be a collaboration with Ariana Grande on this album. [54]
  • "Body Say" isn't on this album. [55]
  • Demi was inspired by Christina Aguilera, Aretha Frankin, and Kehlani for the album.
  • Demi worked with Pharell Williams and Mike WiLL Made-It, but their work did not make it on the album.
  • The album was compared to Christina Aguilera's "Stripped" and Justin Timberlake's "FutureSex/LoveSounds".[56]
  • Demi Lovato stated that no more singles would be released from this album, as they plan to release a seventh studio album later in 2018, which did not happen due to their overdose that year.

Gallery

References

  1. Demi Lovato Announces New Album 'Tell Me You Love Me'
  2. 'Tell Me You Love Me' shares Lovato's emotional story
  3. Demi Lovato to Release New Single 'Sorry Not Sorry' July 11
  4. Top 40/M Future Releases
  5. Tell Me You Love Me World - Tour Dates
  6. Pentatonix Scores First No. 1 Album
  7. Demi Lovato on Island Records
  8. Demi Lovato is Latina Magazine's June/July 2016 Cover Star!
  9. Demi Lovato Is 'Taking a Break From Music' in 2017: 'I Am Not Meant for This Business'
  10. Demi Lovato Spills Details On Her Upcoming Album
  11. 11.0 11.1 Demi Lovato Talks New Album 'Tell Me You Love Me' & 2017 VMA Performance
  12. Demi Lovato Reveals Christina Aguilera 'Really Inspired' Her Upcoming Album
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named RS
  14. Demi Lovato Announces New Album 'Tell Me You Love Me,' Teases Title Track
  15. The new Demi Lovato album tracklist was perfectly predicted by very keen fans
  16. Demi Lovato Performs Stripped Down 'Sorry Not Sorry' & 'Tell Me You Love Me' at VEVO Live Event
  17. JBL® and Grammy Nominated and Multi-Platinum Global Superstar Demi Lovato Open Limited Time-Only Pop-Up Gallery
  18. Tell Me You Love Me World Tour
  19. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named TMYLM Impact
  20. Twitter - Nope
  21. Demi Lovato Drops 'Tell Me You Love Me' Title Track: Listen
  22. Demi Lovato – "You Don't Do It For Me Anymore"
  23. Nielsen SoundScan charts – Digital Songs – Week Ending: 09/14/2017
  24. Demi Lovato – "Sexy Dirty Love"
  25. Nielsen SoundScan charts – Digital Songs – Week Ending: 09/28/2017
  26. 26.0 26.1 Demi Lovato - Tell Me You Love Me
  27. 27.0 27.1 Demi Lovato - Tell Me You Love Me
  28. 28.0 28.1 Tell Me You Love Me - Demi Lovato
  29. 29.0 29.1 Demi Lovato's new R&B sound gets mixed results on Tell Me You Love Me: EW review
  30. 30.0 30.1 Latest Album Reviews: Miley Cyrus, Winston Surfshirt, Cub Sport, Moses Sumney, Demi Lovato
  31. 31.0 31.1 Demi Lovato's 'Tell Me You Love Me:' Album Review
  32. 32.0 32.1 Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato drop albums on the same day, but only one is worth listening to
  33. Demi Lovato's New Album Is The Ultimate Guide To Getting Over A Breakup
  34. 34.0 34.1 Demi Lovato - Tell Me You Love Me Album Review
  35. 35.0 35.1 Review: Demi Lovato Shows Off Her Brassy Firepower on 'Tell Me You Love Me'
  36. 36.0 36.1 Album review: Demi Lovato, 'Tell Me You Love Me'
  37. Demi Lovato: Tell Me You Love Me
  38. The Top 10 Albums of 2017
  39. Favorite Pop Albums - AllMusic 2017 In Review
  40. Billboard's 50 Best Albums of 2017: Critics' Picks
  41. Mikael Wood's top 10 albums of 2017
  42. People: 10 Best Albums of 2017
  43. The Best Albums of 2017, According to Us
  44. 20 Best Pop Albums of 2017
  45. The Best Albums of 2017
  46. Shania Twain wins fiercely fought battle against Wolf Alice to claim her first Number 1 in 18 years on the Official Albums Chart
  47. Shania Twain returns with third #1
  48. Shania Twain's 'Now' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart
  49. Shania, Hedley and Tom Petty Loom Large On This Week's Chart
  50. 50.0 50.1
  51. Demi Lovato - Tell Me You Love Me (Target Exclusive) : Target
  52. Tell Me You Love Me (Deluxe Edition) DEMI LOVATO
  53. Twitter - “Smoke & Mirrors” + “Ready For Ya” from my album #TellMeYouLoveMe are available now on all streaming services for the first time
  54. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWosdqfewe4 - 2:25
  55. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWosdqfewe4 - 1:40
  56. https://www.idolator.com/7669249/demi-lovato-tell-me-you-love-me-album-review

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