The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, who likened its musical structure to that of Britney Spears and Selena Gomez & the Scene. Due to strong digital download upon the album's release, "Unbroken" debuted and peaked at number 98 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as number 60 on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart.
“Unbroken” was composed by Lovato, Daniel James, and Leah Haywood, with James and Haywood also contributing to the song’s production, under their production moniker Dreamlab. The song was recorded at Dreamlab Studios in Los Angeles, California. It was mixed by Serban Ghenea, with assistance from Phil Seaford, in Virginia Beach, Virginia at MixStar Studios. John Hanes was attributed with engineering the song. It was recorded and selected for inclusion in Lovato’s third studio album, Unbroken, which was released on September 20, 2011.
“Unbroken” is an uptempo dance song that runs through a “brittle” beat influenced by electro-industrial music. The composition of the song incorporates influences of disco music from the 1980s. Lovato vocals are accompanied with a synthesized echo in the song’s background. After the second chorus, the song features a breakdown influenced by dubstep. The beat structure has also been compared to Britney Spears’ 2011 single, “Hold It Against Me”. Mike Schiller of PopMatters noted that the song’s sonics were similar to that of Selena Gomez & the Scene’s 2011 single, “Love You Like a Love Song”. It combines heavy electronic beats with numerous synthesizer keyboard effects. Cristin Maher of PopCrush noted that the song “builds like a house song, climaxing in the chorus”. Lyrically, “Unbroken” is about letting go and not holding anything back when it comes to love. It was interpreted by Jocelyn Vena of MTV that the lyrics were written about “being saved by love.”
The song received generally positive reviews from music critics. Embrace You Magazine complimented it as “a vibrant club song that takes us out of the mellow love songs and onto the dance floor” while also commenting on the songs beat structure, “the beat is like ecstasy.” Jenny Chen of Neon Tommy commented that “Unbroken” is “possibly an interesting listen for fist-pumping fans à la Jersey Shore.” Chris Williams of Reuters commented that the song “brings the dance beat and throbbing electronics back, but it doesn't sacrifice the pleasing catch in Lovato's voice or her emotional openness in the process.” Megan Rozell of Blogcritics noted the song, along with “Hold Up”, as “a must listen because the two are more upbeat, offering listeners catchy lyrics and a faster rhythm to dance to.”
An author from Sputnikmusic noted the song, along with “Hold Up”, as “fun” and that they “give a new twist (a progress) to her signature pop roots, being a bit edgier.” The author also commented that the songs should be selected as singles. Jason Scott of seattlepi.com praised the song, calling it “a fist-pumping anthem” with heavy, meaningful lyrics. Cristin Maher of PopCrush noted that “the electronic elements seem forced and like a mishmosh of computer bleeps rather than an organized arrangement” and that Lovato’s vocals are not compatible with the songs structure. Shaun Kitchener of Trash Lounge noted that the song, along with “Hold Up”, is “too uptempo and high on production effects to be filed under ‘ballad’ but no less bursting with emotional resonance and world-class singing.” Jocelyn Vena of MTV praised the song as an “empowering disco song”.
|US Billboard Hot 100||98|
|US Digital Songs (Billboard)||60|