Selena Gomez 'Rare' album review
Selena Gomez has finally released her much-anticipated third album. After a four year wait it doesn’t disappoint. Rare is a display of how far Selena has come, both musically and personally.
A lot has happened with Selena since the release of her previous album Revival. She’s gone through two famous break-ups with Justin Bieber and The Week’nd. She had a kidney transplant as a result of her suffering from Lupus disease. And, she has battled her inner demons only to rise above them.
Of course, this isn’t the only music she has released since Revival in 2015. In 2017, she released “Bad Liar” and “Fetish’, as well as a string of collaborations with other artists. Although these don’t appear on the regular version of the album, you can find them on the deluxe edition.
In October 2019, Selena surprise dropped not one but two new songs and videos within a 24-hour period. The first song “Lose You To Love Me”, is a powerful ballad showcasing all the emotion she has felt over the last few years. She finally lost the person she needed to in order to love and accept herself. Speculation is that this person is indeed Justin Bieber, however it could be several people that were formerly in her life. Nonetheless, “Lose You To Love Me” is a true example of how Selena has grown vocally over the years and became her first Billboard No. 1 single.
The second song released a mere 24- hours later was “Look at Her Now”. The anthem is a celebration of what it means to be a free woman who has risen above everything life has thrown at her. Whilst the lyrics point toward her previous relationship with Justin Bieber, it is ultimately about becoming a stronger person after the relationship has ended. The upbeat, infectious tune is vastly different to “Lose You To Love Me” which left fans excited about what could be expected from her then unreleased album.
Rare is hands down Selena’s best record to-date. It evokes emotion, maturity and is a celebration of resilience and being her own woman. In June 2019, she stated on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon that her new album would contain a “strong sense of pop”. For the most part, the album does have a pop feel to it however she has also made use of both electric and acoustic guitars to create diversity amongst the tracks.
The opener “Rare” draws the listener in with its percussive beat and infectious tune. The lyrics ‘I don’t have it all/ I’m not claiming to/But I know I’m special’ celebrates the fact that Selena is one-a-kind. There’s nobody out there in the world like her and she deserves to feel special. Genius describes the song as “a self-empowerment anthem about independence and self-love”.
The electro-pop that we expect so much from Selena comes into play on the second track “Dance Again”. The liberating song shows how Selena dances through the pain of losing her lover and how she will come out stronger. Nothing in the world will stop her from having a good time.
One of my personal favourites is “Ring”, showing a different side to Selena musically. With a 60s jazz feel, Selena’s voice is the star on this track. The song doesn’t require any special effects or even particularly difficult notes to have the impact that it has. It's clear through this song that Selena had the upper hand in the particular relationship. She's had her lovers on a string like puppets but none of them were the one she wanted.
Another favourite is “Fun” with a catchy beat and feel good lyrics. It could be described as playful and describes Selena falling into a relationship with someone who is bad for her, yet is a whole lot of fun. The tune and the “oh’s” were struck in my head for a long time upon first hearing the track.
The final track sees Selena collaborating with American rapper Kid Cudi. Titled “A Sweeter Place”, the song is about the duo both wanting to find a place to keep their worries away. Selena’s past hurdles come out to play in this track and she shows how she is progressing beyond them. She shared on twitter that a line from this song “Holdin’ hands with the darkness and knowin’ my heart is allowed” is one of her favourites.
Overall Selena Gomez with the help of her co-writers, has created an outstanding album where each track is a star in its own right. There are no lacklustre moments. Rare is no doubt Selena’s best and strongest project to date. We are seeing the real Selena step forward with the raw honesty she has presented us.
Rare is available to purchase and stream now.