In her latest album, Selena Gomez twists all the hardships these past five or so years have handed her into a proclamation of growth and self-love. “Rare” captures a new level of maturity from this pop star. A far cry from the seemingly unstable pop star the media tried to portray her as years ago.
Whereas an Ariana Grande album highlights her insanely talented vocal range, the creators of this album alongside Gomez, namely Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter, focus less on Selena’s vocal abilities and more so on her talent in storytelling. A natural born actress, she excels in using music to translate a wide range of emotions into a few bars.
As with her previous solo albums, Gomez overall maintains her sound as a pop artist. There are a few tracks that experiment with alternative pop, R&B, funko-pop, and electro; all styles that fit well with Gomez’s unique tone.
“Ring,” while one of her more cliche pop songs, holds her strongest vocal presence. Much of the criticism regarding her music calls on her limited range, but this song highlights it beautifully. There’s a sultry tone paired with a Latin inspired electro-dance mix. It’s an odd blend, but one that works beautifully for Gomez.
Her song “Dance Again” mimics the sound “Ring” gives and, while their tone is unique, their lyrics aren’t world shattering. In a general sense, that is. They blend well with the rest of the album, exemplifying Selena’s newfound confidence.
“Dance Again” starts off strong with lyrics like “Happiness/Ain’t something you sit back and you wait for/Confidence/Is throwing your heart through every brick wall.” The chorus expresses just how vulnerable Gomez is going to be with this album: “With my emotions undressed, I’m going in/With everything/To dance again/Feels so, feels so, feels so good.”
She builds off that vulnerability later in the album with songs such as “Look At Her Now,” and “Rare.” These songs take hardships – like her toxic relationship with Justin Bieber that she explores in “Lose You to Love Me” – and flips them on their head, giving her strength and power.
“Rare,” the song the album is named after, ushers confidence. The lyrics “It feels like you don’t care
Why don’t you recognize I’m so rare?” recaptures a sense of pride, one Gomez has been honest about struggling to keep. Similarly, “Look At Her Now” takes a broad look at the past four years and takes a second to appreciate growth coming out of such a taxing time.
Overall, “Rare” isn’t some common pop album. It’s a raw and honest look into the last four years of Selena Gomez’s life. It captivates the listener, and takes them on the journey with her while still keeping the classic upbeat-dancy vibes of a pop album. It leaves you looking at the world with a fresh set of eyes.
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