Selena Gomez’s latest album “Rare” is a celebratory album, released on Friday, Jan. 10., five years since the release of “Revival” in 2015. The album celebrates Gomez surviving a tumultuous couple of years. While in the public eye, Gomez went through life-saving renal surgery due to complications from lupus. She also went through a seemingly toxic, on-and-off relationship with Justin Bieber.
In an interview with iHeartRADIO Gomez said of the relationship, “When you’re young … you have this codependency that you think is love and then you have this addiction to the passion and the frustration with each other that you think, ‘Oh, that’s love,’ or fighting or doing all this stuff, ‘Oh that’s love,’ and I believed that for a long time.” Although she does allude to their relationship in most of her songs, “Rare” centers on self-love, confidence, recovery and fun.
Gomez released “Lose You to Love Me” and “Look at Her Now” in October 2019 as a preview to the album for fans. “Lose You to Love Me” is the only ballad on the album. The song is very simple in sound, having only a piano and Gomez’s vocals. The raw emotion that inspired the song is on display through her vocals and with lyrics like “You set fires to my forest and you let it burn,” and “I needed to hate you to love me.” The lyrics speak to anyone who has recovered from physical and emotional wounds through self-love.
The song “Look at Her Now” is impossible to not dance to. The infectious rhythm combined with the chorus’s “Mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm, look at her now,” makes the song addictive. Gomez recently released an alternative music video for the song giving it a second life.
The album without a doubt falls under the pop genre, having a consistent, strong electronic dance music tone coupled with quick and upbeat tempos throughout. However, the songs are just diverse enough to be enjoyable.
The song “Rare” has a gratifying eclectic sound that is loaded with twangy bass undertones and strong percussion. The lyrics, “Why don’t you recognize I’m so rare?” and “I don’t have it all, I’m not claiming to, but I know that I’m special,” validate and inject confidence to any listener that has ever felt underappreciated or overlooked.
“Ring,” the fifth track, is all about confidence. The song has a sound that transports you to a burlesque club. While singing along to lyrics like, “Wrapped round my finger like a ring, ring, ring, they just like puppets on a string, string, string,” you feel tenacious and bold.
From the minute the song “Fun” comes on, you can’t help but clap or snap along. “Fun” is perfect to listen to while getting ready for a night out with friends. The lyrics, “You may not be the one, but you look like fun,” make you feel flirty and carefree. The chorus includes an electric guitar that is the life of the song. It would perk anyone up and get them in the mood for a great night out.
“Dance Again” is the song on the album that ties the celebration together, representing everything in the album about recovery, self-love and fun. As the most EDM influenced song on the album, it starts off with a soft piano and builds up-tempo with the bridge, “I kickstart the rhythm, all the traumas in remission, no I don’t need permission,” and then drops the beat with the chorus, “Feels so good to dance again.”
Other songs on the album include, “Kinda Crazy,” “Crowded Room,” “People You Know,” “Vulnerable,” “A Sweeter Place,” “Cut You Off,” and “Let Me Get Me.”