Last year I began working on a song about a different kind of love, It's a song about showing someone you love that you're the one right in front of them. This is a song about faith.
—Demi Lovato talking about Give Your Heart A Break
Give Your Heart a Break is a song by American recording artist Demi Lovato, taken from her third studio album Unbroken. It was released on January 23, 2012 by Hollywood Records as the second and final single from the album. The song was written and produced by Josh Alexander and Billy Steinberg. "Give Your Heart a Break" is a dance-pop ballad that comprises instruments like the drums, violin and strings; the latter two, according to music critics, are reminiscent of those used in Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" (Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, 2008). Hollywood Records serviced the song to mainstream radios on January 23, 2012 in the United States. Lyrically, the song chronicles the protagonist's attempt to win over her lover who has been hurt in a previous relationship and is fearful of committing again.
"Give Your Heart a Break" received critical acclaim from contemporary music critics, praising the production as well as Lovato's vocals. The single debuted at #72 on the Billboard Hot 100, and has peaked at #16 on the chart, as well as reaching #1 on Billboard Pop Songs chart. The song has debuted at 22 in New Zealand and has so far peaked at #9, marking the first time Lovato has had two top 10 singles from one album in that country. The music video for the song features Lovato attempting to persuade her lover that she is the right one for him and will not break his heart like his past girlfriends, creating a collage of photographs taken during the video that when put together create a photo of the two in each other's embrace. Lovato has promoted the song through several stage performances, including her performance at the Z100 Jingle Ball concert.
Writing, background and composition
It was originally announced that Lovato's second single would be "Who's That Boy" (which features Dev), however Lovato later changed the single to "Give Your Heart a Break", officially announcing it on Twitter. "Give Your Heart a Break" was written and produced by Josh Alexander and Billy Steinberg, who are known for their work on The Veronicas' sophomore studio album, Hook Me Up as well as JoJo's "Too Little Too Late". Alexander is credited with having a bigger hand in the song's production, handling all the instruments while programming, recording and engineering the song. Chris Garcia shared engineering credits with Alexander while Scott Roewe is credited with providing logic and pro tools technology.
The song is an uptempo dance-pop track that runs for 3 minutes and 25 seconds. It incorporates teen pop and bubblegum pop styles and electro-pop beats influences. The song's composition uses suspenseful strings that combines with a rhythmic drum. It also features a violin, which, according to Cristin Maher of PopCrush, sounds similar to that used in Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" (Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, 2008). Maher also notes the song as a mix between contemporary pop and old school pop from the 1980s and 1990s. According to the digital music sheet published at Musicnotes.com by Kobalt Music Publishing America, Inc., "Give Your Heart a Break" is written in the key of G♭ major. It is set in common time and has a moderate tempo of 123 beats per minute. The song follows the chord progression of C♭2–G♭–A♭m7 (add 4)–D♭. Lovato's vocals span over two octaves, from E♭3 to F#5. Lyrically, the song is about courting a guy who's a little bruised.
"Give Your Heart a Break" received generally positive reviews from music critics. Joe DeAndrea of AbsolutePunk praised that "Mistake" and "Give Your Heart a Break" as ballads that "go far and beyond anything in Lovato's prior arsenal. It sets a mark as to what should be expected from similar artists such as her, but in the process, distancing herself from being grouped with them becoming a solo entity." Jason Scott of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer noted that the song, along with "Mistake" and "Hold Up", feature "electrically forceful instrumentation". Jocelyn Vena of MTV complimented it as a smart dance song, along with "Hold Up". Cristin Maher of PopCrush praised the song as "captivating", while writing "'Give Your Heart a Break'’ is a mix between contemporary pop and old-school pop from the '80s and '90s." Maher also cites Billy Steinberg as an influence for the song's "harmonious hybrid sound", noting his collaborations with Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and The Bangles as the reason.
In another extensive review, Laurence Green from musicOMH praised the track, calling it an "exceptionally brilliant track," while commenting that she "becomes the true pop heroine; backed up by infinitely bigger, better choruses." Sam Lansky, a writer and editor from MTV's Buzzworthy Blog, lauded the recording for presenting Lovato's vocals as a masterpiece and praised the production as "superb".
The song peaked Billboard Hot 100 at number 16 making it Lovato's fourth highest peaking song. Also, it has peaked at number 12 on the US Adult Top 40 chart, number 1 on the US Pop Songs chart and became the longest climb by a female artist to #1 in the Pop Songs chart history. she also reached number 16 on the US Adult Contemporary chart, and at number 21 on the US Digital Songs chart. In Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders), the song peaked at number 32, her first appearance and highest position on the chart, and has so far spent 9 weeks on the chart. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 33, her third song to chart on the top 40 and has so far peaked at number 9, marking the first time Lovato has had two Top 10 singles from one album in that country. The song has sold over 2,000,000 digital copies and was officially certified Platinum in the United States.
Live performances and cover versions
On December 31, 2011 Lovato promoted the song at the MTV New Year's Eve's concert, which she co-hosted with Tyler Posey. Lovato performed the song at the People's Choice Awards on January 11, 2012, where she also received the "Best Pop Artist" award afterwards. On March 6, 2012, Lovato sang the single on the Today Show . On March 15, 2012, she performed the single on American version of Idols during the Top Eleven Results Show. The song was included on Lovato's set list for a free concert on July 6, 2012 as part of Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series. Lovato performed the song at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards pre-show on September 6, 2012. On September 25, 2012, Lovato performed the song on Katie Couric's talk show Katie. She performed the song at the VH1 Divas 2012 with the theme dance party on December 16, 2012. She performed the song on the finale of The X Factor USA on December 19, 2012 with Fifth Harmony. She performed the song in the UK during a Capital FM session on June 3, 2014. The song was featured on the fourth episode of season 4 of Glee. The song was a part of her setlists for the Neon Lights Tour, Sex and Love Tour and DEMI World Tour for 2014. She also performed the song at a "Confident" promo show in São Paulo, Brazil on October 20, 2015
Background and release
A lyric video for the song was released on YouTube on December 23, 2011, on Lovato's YouTube account. In the description for the lyric video, it was confirmed that the official music video would be released in 2012. The official music video was shot in late February 2012 and was directed by Justin Francis. On March 23, 2012, an 18-second teaser promoting the music video was released on her YouTube account. In the video, it was revealed that the music video would premiere on April 2, 2012 on E! News and on Eonline.com in Canada and United States, with the worldwide premiere coming on April 3, 2012 on VEVO. In an interview with MTV, she comments about the video: "The new music video, I'm basically trying to convince a guy that I didn't break his heart, and we get into a fight and I try to win him over again," she said. "So I do something special for him at the end of the song." She also comments about the guy who acts her love interest in the video: "It's kind of funny. It's part of the job though. You just try to get through it, but it is kind of awkward at first when you have to act like a couple with someone that you don't know," she said. "He was really sweet, really sweet and really cute."
The lyric video was released on her YouTube channel on December 23, 2011. In the video, it starts with Lovato sitting on the swing and writing the lyrics in a journal next to a waterfall and a fire pit, presumably writing her thoughts in the form of the song. At the end of the video, Lovato closes her journal and leaves it on the swing. It was later released on VEVO on March 20, 2012.
A collage of a photo of Lovato and on-screen love interest (Alex Bechet), created from other smaller images of the pair.
The video is based on Lovato trying to win her boyfriend again, portrayed by Alex Bechet, after a fight, showing him that she is the one meant to be with him. The music video starts with Lovato and her boyfriend having an argument over the phone. After hanging up, she starts singing the song and recollects memories of them together. She is then shown collecting pictures of her and her boyfriend, inter-cut with her walking down a road while singing the second verse, and pasting the photos collected by her on a wall. Each picture has a memory behind it, which is recounted by her. At the end of the video, Lovato's boyfriend looks out his window as he beholds a large collage of pictures, depicting a picture of them smiling. Lovato is shown walking back home, as she turns around and smiles, confident that her plan has worked.
Lovato posted teaser #1, 2 and 3 on March 23, 28 and 30 in 2012, respectively.
Credits and personnel
Credits adapted from Unbroken liner notes:
- Mixed at Cryptic Studios in Los Angeles, California
- Vocals and background vocals: Demi Lovato, Jaden Michaels
- Songwriting and production: Josh Alexander, Billy Steinberg
- Recording and engineering: Josh Alexander, Chris Garcia
- Instruments and programming: Josh Alexander
- Logic Pro and pro tools technology: Scott Roewe
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||32|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||9|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||194|
|US Billboard Hot 100||16|
|US Pop Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Digital Songs (Billboard)||21|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||16|
|US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)||12|