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A Look at Demi Lovato’s “Dancing with the Devil… The Art of Starting Over”

Over the past few weeks, Demi Lovato has been promoting her new 4 part docu-series, Dancing with the Devil, which contains footage from a 2018 documentary that got cut short due to a life-threatening overdose that left her with brain damage and vision issues. When the news broke in 2018 that the then 26-year-old singer was rushed to the hospital, many fans, friends, family members, and doctors were unsure if she was going to survive given the mix of drugs that were in her system. After about 3 years of recovery, Demi has decided to share her story of what exactly happened leading up to that summer night and how she has been reborn as she has taken control of her life and is starting over. 

The documentary is still being released, but you can watch episodes 1, 2, and 3 on Youtube now. The main focus this week has been on her album, released on April 1, “Dancing with the Devil… the Art of Starting Over”. This album tells the story in the best way Lovato knows, through her singing and songwriting. With singles, “Anyone”, “What Other People Say”, and “Dancing with the Devil” being released prior to the album drop, it’s safe to say that fans were anxious to hear all of the songs on the upcoming album.

After listening to the entire album, here is a review of a few of the songs and some of their best lyrics.



This song was released in January of 2020 as a single but has been added to this album as the opening track. Lovato actually recorded the song in 2018, just four days before her overdose. The timing of it all makes a lot of sense because of how raw the song feels. The melody is beautiful and Lovato, as well as the other writers, obviously are very good at songwriting, but even a casual listen can be very emotional for someone who hasn’t experienced any of the struggles that led Lovato to write the lyrics.

“Anyone, please send me anyone

Lord, is there anyone?

I need someone”

The song is a cry for help—it’s Lovato admitting that she does not have the strength to beat this addiction on her own. As the song progresses, in both the recording and live performances, you can hear Lovato’s voice breaking slightly as the emotion and desperation gets stronger. Sadly, her cry went unheard. 


Dancing with The Devil

This song is like an apology for Lovato’s past actions that spun out of control. Even though they seemed like nothing at the time, their implications were catastrophic. The saying “dance with the devil” means to engage in risky behavior, reckless, or immoral behavior. In Demi’s case, this included hard, addictive drugs that increasingly consumed her life.

“I was dancing with the devil, out of control

Almost made it to Heaven

It was closer than you know”


ICU (Madison’s Lullabye)

The docuseries on Youtube introduces Madison De La Garza, Demi Lovato’s 19-year-old half-sister. Madison mentions how she always looked up to Demi, which can be immense pressure especially since Demi was struggling with her addiction. After seeing Demi in the hospital after the overdose, the angelic image of a perfect sister disappeared and the reality of the situation was clear. This song was dedicated to Madison and is so emotional from the beginning lyrics to the end of the song with Madison and Demi each saying, “I love you”.

“I didn’t want those innocent eyes

To watch me fall from grace

Tried to protect you

I want to direct you

To keep you from my mistakes”


Met Him Last Night (feat. Ariana Grande)

Once a collaboration with Ariana Grande was announced, fans were anxiously waiting to hear what would come of the two powerhouses—they were not disappointed! This song fits in with the theme of the album and tells the story of making bad decisions and how they don’t seem so bad in the moment. The harmonies are beautiful and neither singer was trying to “outsing” the other. Even though Ariana usually sings the higher parts in songs, the roles are reversed as Demi takes the higher notes while Ariana continues the melody. This song is upbeat and catchy even with a deeper meaning. This will probably be the song you will be singing even after listening to the whole album.

“I’ve seen the devil

Yeah, I met him last night

One conversation

Now I’m spending the night

I think I love him

Though I know it ain’t right

(No, no, it ain’t right, yeah)”


What Other People Say (with Sam Fischer)

This was one of the songs released in January 2021 prior to the album’s release. This duet has great harmonies and is very catchy as well but the meaning is so relatable to anyone listening. As we grow up, we may start focusing more on what other people say or think about us instead of what we think of ourselves. We lose ourselves and what we like to do. Life is short and we should be living for ourselves, not for other people and a song like this reminds us to forget other people’s opinions of us. 

“I used to call my mom every Sunday

So she knew her love wasn’t far away

But now I’m all [messed] up out in LA

‘Cause I care more about what other people say”


15 Minutes

It’s not clear if this song is about Demi’s ex-fiance or an ex-boyfriend, but this song is similar to Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” or Rihanna’s “Take a Bow”. If you have ever been cheated on, this will be your next anthem. This is in the second half of the album where Demi is starting over and reclaiming her life. This song can easily be played on the radio and is a great girl-boss song to add to your playlist.

“’Cause you were looking for 15 minutes, yeah

And now you got 15 minutes, yeah

Pack your stuff, you can come and get it, yeah (hahaha)

Ain’t goodbye but it’s good riddance”


My Girlfriends Are My Boyfriend (feat. Saweetie)

If you were a fan of “7 Rings” this song will definitely be one of your favorites on the album. Society may make it seem like we need to be in relationships or settle down even with the wrong people, but sometimes the people you need in your life are your best friends. They are there for you and accept you as you are. Share this song with your best friends and they will love it!

“The only lie I’ma do is lyin’ down in my room

Their friendship’s romantic

If we’re crying, we’re laughin’

I don’t have to impress, don’t even have to wear less

Unless we go swimming and dip in the moonlight”


This album has a great mix of songs broken up into two parts—her dark past and her rebirth. Thankfully, Demi is on the road to recovery and we can’t wait to see what life has in store for her. You can listen to the album and deluxe versions wherever you listen to your music and can see all 4 parts of her docuseries on Youtube!

Brianna Mays is one of the Campus Correspondents for Her Campus at UGA. She was born and raised in Gwinnett County, GA. She is a Terry Business Student majoring in Management: Human Resouces with a minor in Spanish and Fashion Merchandising.
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