Perhaps the first interesting legitimate 2013 pop single, Demi Lovato's "Heart Attack" may be the track finally pulling us into the new year's music, and the singer sounds strong and determined taking us forward with her. The song chronicles a skeptic's fear of falling in love while she is swooning for a guy. This conflict creates an interesting narrative tension: the attraction and good feelings that romance can bring set against the fear of being hurt. This panic brings the singer back to an already successful and marketable metaphor--the heart as a representation of self-worth and emotional stability. Lovato does not traverse any novel thematic material here, but she makes these tropes her own.
Part of what makes this track work as piece pop of craftsmanship is Lovato's wonderfully expressive and scratchy vocal. Her weathered voice allows her to compellingly express anguish, fear, and longing. At the most gripping moments, she wails away during a smartly assembled power-pop chorus that bolsters her performance with a drum machine, accoustic guitar, and swirling electronics. Is the production a bit over-crowded? Yes. And is Lovato over-singing for most of the song? Hell, yes. However, this sonic over-load appropriately mimics the anxiety the song explores. The track is a keeper, and Lovato deserves attention for delivering the first single of the year worth latching on to.