Yeah, i’m totally late on this, but since people were asking me to make a review on this and it was arguably one of the most anticipated singles of this summer, here we go!
“Cool For The Summer” is the the lead single of Demi Lovato’s upcoming 5th album. It was released July 1st, premiering on Pop radio the same day after being teased via iHeart Radio interviews a week before. This single has a lot of significance in Demi’s career. Not only in terms of its sound, but mostly because of her recent label changes. After numerous rumors of Demi leaving HWR for Island, Republic or even Capitol Records, earlier this year it was announced that she would be releasing her 5th album in a creative partnership between Island and Hollywood Records. In addition to that, she would be launching her own label called “Safehouse Records” along with long-time friend Nick Jonas and manager Phil McIntyre in the near future. This deal helps Demi open up her possibilities, she now is no longer limited to Hollywood Records treatment only. Meaning, she gets to work with new, different and bigger producers. Also noteworthy is that Republic Records will handle her radio promotion, most importantly the executive vice president of Republic Records, Charlie Walk. Charlie is responsible for marketing, PR and promotion, but he is well-known for overseeing radio promotion of hit songs such as “Can’t Feel My Face” by the Weeknd.
On to the song. Cool For The Summer was produced by the one and only Max Martin and co-written by Demi herself, Alexander Kronlund, Savan Kotecha and Ali Payami. The song starts out with a soft piano play that consists of a melodic pattern that you’re gonna hear in one form or another in most of the song. Then Demi starts singing in an unusual soft and high pitched voice for her standards, accompanied by a fairly strong beat considering how mellow her vocals sound during the verses. There’s actually many important elements in the verses, most notably the kind-of whispered “I’m a little curious too” and “I can keep a secret can you” or the way she dances around the melody on some lyrics. “Got my mind on your body, And your body on my mind, Got a taste for the cherry, I just need to take a bite”, Demi sings in the pre-chorus. It is used as a nice transition from the rather soft verses to the chorus. The lyrics are highly suggestive, especially for an artist like Demi who has been under all kinds of Disney contracts. If anything, this makes the song more impressive though because she can finally open up and sing without any restrictions. By the way, the “HA!” shout she does at the end of the pre-chorus is totally the best part of the song.
The chorus kicks in with a rather heavy Pop/Rock breakdown. Many people have been suggesting it’s an EDM breakdown when infact it consists of heavy electric guitars. You might not notice it at first, but it actually uses a similar pattern like the piano intro. “Take me down into your paradise, Don’t be scared cause I’m your body type, Just something that we wanna try, Cause you and I, We’re cool for the summer”, Demi sings in the chorus, with the same Rock breakdown in the background. Again, the way she sings “body type” going up and down in the melody is actually quite bold but it works out perfectly. The second verse then continues like the first one left off. Except Demi drops the f-bomb.
Due to Demi singing the verses so high pitched and, for her standards, there being little to no full-on sustained belts (which is what Demi is known for), you might get the feel that she’s not quite using the register she’s fully comfortable with. By the time the last chorus kicks in you’re probably gonna change your mind again though. As expected and totally in Demi-style, the chorus includes a few high notes and the usual adlibs she does in almost every song nowadays. This has become a signature element for her, almost as much as it is for the likes of Kelly Clarkson.
In terms of production, Cool For The Summer is a mix between Pop and Rock elements, making it accessible to Pop radio but at the same time ensuring, that it doesn’t sound like other songs on the single charts. Max Martin really did a great job with this, from the electric guitar riffs in the chorus to the piano in the intro and the bridge. All of the elements make the song a well balanced Pop/Rock song that is certainly one of Demi Lovato’s best singles. In fact, she’s probably never had a single sound this impressive in terms of production alone. Lyrically the song is actually quite suggestive, with playful lyrics such as the “taste for the cherry” part. The fact that she’s even able to sing about slightly sexual topics is also thanks to her label change. Due to her opening up her music to new audiences, the song has been compared to other pop hits like Katy’s “I Kissed A Girl” (for obvious reasons) or Jessie J’s “Domino” for how the choruses sound, but Cool For The Summer has a lot in store to separate itself from these songs.
Overall, this is probably Demi’s most accessible lead single to date, and arguably her best one, although the “summer” theme is quite overused in Pop music. Her career choices and new confidence in her own self make her very believable on this song. The fact that she’s worked with some of the biggest Pop producers like Max Martin and also Dr Luke, who are mostly responsible for numerous Katy Perry and Taylor Swift smashes, makes me think this might become her best album to date, IF she manages to balance the album well in terms of uptempo, midtempo and slow songs/ballads. Pop bangers are good and all, but a Demi Lovato album would just not be a Demi Lovato album without ballads that aren’t over produced Pop hits.
What did you think of “Cool For The Summer”? Share your thoughts with me in the comment section below. If you have any requests for reviews you can write that down in a comment or hit me up on twitter @DawleyGaming or write an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and i will try to take your requests into consideration!