Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆
After four years, Selena Gomez has returned with her third solo album, Rare. Gomez came from the collection of musical stars that Disney Channel produced. She took a much more sensible route into her music career: first, she made music with the band, The Scene, then she started her solo career in 2012. She has taken breaks from her career when she needed them. Rare has been highly anticipated, so let’s get into it.
The album opens with the title track, “Rare”. It has a very groovy, almost 70s sound. I really like how she plays with tempo on this song. The message of the song certainly sets the tone for the album: don’t put up with someone who doesn’t recognise your rareness or isn’t putting enough effort into the relationship. This is not only something that Gomez now adheres to, but also something she wants her fans to take to heart. 2020 is going to be a no f**kboys year.
Gomez released the music video on Friday, presumably meaning “Rare” will be the next single. For me, there’s too much going on for it to be as aesthetically pleasing as it was intended to be.
Gomez released her comeback singles at the end of October, “Look At Her Now” and “Lose You To Love Me”. These were definitely the best tracks to choose as the comeback singles. They are clearly about her relationship with Justin Bieber, which made the media very interested in them, but they also show how much Gomez has matured lyrically and sonically.
“Lose You To Love Me” has some of the best vocals of the album; I absolutely adore belting it out in my bedroom. It became Gomez’s first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 because you could hear the emotion and pain that went into the song. Meanwhile, Bieber is literally begging for streams to get his truly terrible new song to #1; definitely “dodged a bullet” there, Selena. “Look At Her Now” is so fun and catchy. It’s written in the third person, which I love. “She knows she’ll find love (She knows)/Only if she wants it” is one of the standout lyrics of the album. The visuals for both songs are stunning in different ways.
Gomez uses a latin flavour in “Ring” and “Let Me Get Me”, which is a new route for her. “Ring” is also the song that exudes the most confidence and fierceness. I can’t imagine Gomez having the confidence to sing a lyric like “Wrapped ’round my finger like a ring, ring, ring/They just like puppets on a string, string, string” four years ago.
“People You Know” is certainly the most relatable track, but it is a little repetitive. I love the production on “Fun” and “Vulnerable”. In fact, “Vulnerable” is my favourite track on the album at the moment. I love that it has a minimalistic sound, I love the bridge, but most of all, I love the line “If I show you all my demons, and we dive into the deep end/Would we crash and burn like every time before?”
My only criticism of the album is that towards the end the songs start to feel a bit “samey”. Apart from that the album is definitely Gomez’s best yet, but I feel that she will only get better from this.
Featured image via @selenagomez