Co-written by the singer herself, Heart Attack was released via iTunes 10 days after Valentine’s this year, on Febuary 24th. It is the first single of her 4th studio album, Demi which was released just earlier this month on the 14th. This time , she pulled away from her soft, shattered persona in Skyscraper and went for full power in her vocals, similar to that in Give Your Heart A Break. In the music video, which was shot on 13 March in LA, California, lovatics were treated to a charismatic Demi wailing her heart out. And we have the classic theme of the song: Love hurts.
A first glance the lyrics tells us about the dangers of falling in love. I mean, how many love songs out there are called “Heart Attack”? Where health is concerned a “heart attack” (or myocardial infraction) is obviously a critical condition, one that must be avoided at all costs because it is potentially fatal. The biggest element contributing to it is the build-up of fats/cholesterol that clogs the arteries and chokes the heart of its own blood supply. Resulting in severe chest pains & shortages of breath. Like life itself is being squeezed out of us. So, to grab our attention, Demi openly hints that love, the topic of her song, can be as dangerous as those fats/cholesterol. Though she meant it metaphorically, the pain that results from “falling in love” must be extremely similar to her.
“Never break a sweat for the other guys
When you come around, I get paralyzed
And everytime I try to be myself
It comes out wrong like a cry for help
It’s just not fair
Pain’s more trouble than love is worth
I gasp for air
It feels so good, but you know it hurts”
So falling in love causes some physical discomforts. First of all she gets “paralyzed”, which we would take as the stunned silence you get when you see a familiar face of a lover who’s hurt you before. Or someone who looks like he/she might put you in a similar situation if you gave in. Second, looks like it can shake a person somehow, since “every time [she tries] to be [herself], it comes out wrong” and makes it certain that something’s wrong with her when whatever she tries to do sounds/looks “like a cry for help”. Then she decides the “[pain’s] more trouble than love is worth” and tries to comfort herself, “gasp[ing] for air” like she had been suffering real breathlessness.
“It feels so good” looks like she might, a least for a few seconds, actually contemplate it. Probably playing back sweet memories she had one time ago. But as fast as it came the thought is expelled, because she “know[s] it hurts.” Pain triumphs love.
She’s showing her obvious discomfort that the “build-up” of that feeling called “falling in love”, her attempts at hiding it causing some internal conflict (via Tumblr)
White dress, black paint, hair tied in a tight bun & far less make-up. A peek inside her thoughts? (via style.mtv.com)
We then have these curious cutscenes of her in a white clothes & hands/wrists painted black, and the background looking like black paint is flooding the roof. Cutscenes presumably in a mental frame. Compared to the close-up Demi on the mic, this Demi is far less feminine, with hair in a tight bun & little/no make-up. And the mystery black paint/liquid/oil of some sort, which we see no attempt from her whatsoever to get rid of. From those palm marks across her upper body, it looks like she even wants to cover herself with it. And if we assume this mystery liquid is the same one that we saw Demi submerged in from 0:02 to 0:11, then it looks like we can safely assume that she’s using it to drown her “girly” side, the one that would show the world that she’s falling in love. If her nails were decorated we would never know, since both her hands looked like she dipped them in this mystery liquid.
“The feelings got lost in my lungs
They’re burning, I’d rather be numb
And there’s no one else to blame
So scared I take off and I run
I’m flying too close to the sun
And I burst into flames”
More comparisons to physical pain, to the point that “[she]’d rather be numb” so that she won’t feel pain anymore. So, with no way to alleviate the feeling by venting out on someone ie.“no one else to blame” she flees, and because the feeling has become as dangerous as the “sun” itself, something that could actually endanger her if see got too close.
“…burst into flames” in the song was actually sang “…burst into FLAAAYAAAYAAAAYAAAMES”. Now nobody would’ve missed that. (via style.mtv.com)
“You make me glow, but I cover up
Won’t let it show, so I’m
Puttin’ my defences up
‘Cause I don’t wanna fall in love
If I ever did that
I think I‘d have a heart attack”
And now for the explosive chorus, the one that pulls out Demi’s true vocal power. She wails out “glooowoww” to tell us how much her feelings are pulling her towards falling in love, but counters it with an equally strong “shooowoww” to “cover [it] up”. And after rejecting the feeling, she plunges her vocal chords into full-steam when singing “I think I’d have a heart attaaaaack”, pushing her repetition of this line alone over & over in the finale. Refusing, denying that little feeling by telling us, and maybe even reminding herself, of how much it can hurt. Like a real heart attack.