Every few years there is a changing of the guard. All the pretty ponies that were showered with undying love and attention either take a step up the pop ladder - or are sent kicking and screaming to the glue factory. It's a ruthless cycle that few survive. For every Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, there are 10 Hilary Duffs wondering what the fuck happened. And, for a while there, that's the fate that seemed to await Demi Lovato - the destiny of being a largely irrelevant footnote in the history of teen-pop.
Unlike aforementioned Lizzie McGuire actress (who desperately needs to make a comeback), Demi had no real hits to her credit and was better known for allegedly not fucking Joe Jonas. But then she had a breakdown and people found her interesting again. To her credit, the then 19-year-old worked that shit like a pro - churning out the air-grabbing anthem "Skyscraper" and genuinely brilliant "Give Your Heart A Break". It became blindingly obvious that Demi was the talented teen idol. Selena had the famous boyfriend and Miley had the fame but pop's favourite cutter could really sing.
I loved Demi's third album but Unbroken underperformed. It did well enough to land her a spot on X Factor next to Britney and, again, she's taken an opportunity and created something unexpectedly massive. The Camp Rock survivor could have been forgiven for returning with a shitty dance track like "Scream & Shout" but she (or more likely her team) went with a song co-penned by rising pop diva Nikki Williams and produced by the relatively unknown Suspex. In that regard "Heart Attack" was a risk but the song is a stone cold smash from the very first listen.
Dabbling ever-so-slightly in the electronic movement, the now 20-year-old updated her sound with some icy synths but this is basically an '80s power ballad dragged into the new millennium. The lyrics are occasionally twee - bitch, wash your damn hair regardless! - but the 14-year-old girl in all of us is silently nodding her head in approval, while crying silent tears of agreement as Demi tells it like it is. Best of all, the focus is on the budding diva's glorious vocals. "Heart Attack" is currently sitting at #1 on US iTunes and has every right to be absolutely massive.
So is this the next step in comeback queen's slow climb to greatness or an extension of her 15 minutes? If talent plays any factor, which is debatable, Demi could be around for the long haul. The ball's in your court now, Selena. Your next album better be flawless or you'll be bunking next to Ashley Tisdale in no time.