Reflecting on all of the hurt that she has gone through and the life lessons she’s learnt along the way, Selena Gomez’s third studio album ‘Rare’, impresses with an earnest maturity.
‘Rare’ doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. The thirteen track record is full of honest reflections that are emotionally fuelled and are melodically crafted in an endearing pop format.
Enlisting some huge songwriting names like Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, Alex Hope, Leland, Caroline Furoyen, Jon Bellion, Bebe Rexha and MNEK to work on this record with her, they’ve been able to create some pure pop magic that is not only genuine, emotional and uplifting but is also something that perfectly continues the evolution of her artistry after the huge success of ‘Revival’.
Opening with the title track ‘Rare’ she first and foremost reclaims her self worth as she questions why someone can’t see that she’s uniquely special. “It feels like you don’t care. Why don’t you recognise I’m so rare?” she sings during the DIY indie-pop song that combines an offbeat production with a rhythmic flow.
Setting the precedent that this album is not going to be filled with predictable dance-pop songs that sound like everything else on the radio and charts at the moment, Gomez really just wants to create music that feels and sounds authentic. So a lot of this record does feel quite DIY within the pop realm.
Rolling into the euphoric ‘Dance Again’ she uses the pulsating guitar baseline to continue the rhythmic flow of the opening track and deliver something that has a real groove to it without giving into the generic dance samples. Reclaiming her confidence she reveals to listeners that she’s ready to dance again and celebrate herself after coming out on the other side of a dark period. “Feels so, feels so, feels so good to dance again. With my emotions undressed, I’m going in with everything to dance again”.
Keeping the oozing confidence flowing, ‘Look At Her Now’, ‘Ring’ and ‘Let Me Get Me’ highlight a playful side to her production and delivery as she reclaims that side of her that she thought she lost in the darkness.
Lead single ‘Lose You To Love Me’ is the albums most honest and candid moment. Sharing her raw vulnerability with listeners, she details how she allowed one of the biggest heartbreaks in her life to shed a light on the love she had for herself and the strength she was capable of to get back up.
“I needed to lose you to find me. This dancing was killing me softly. I needed to hate you to love me” she heartbreakingly sings during the pre chorus. But it’s the line “I needed to lose you to love me” in the chorus that will keep circling in your mind as you reflect on your personal journey with love and heartbreak.
The moody pop track ‘People You Know’ hits a little different as she reflects on someone drifting away from her and wishes that things could be different. “We used to be close, but people can go
from people you know to people you don’t” she sings during the honest chorus, and it quickly becomes one of the pure highlights on the record.
The vulnerable track which is coincidentally called ‘Vulnerable’ delivers a retrospective disco outlook on opening up while ‘Cut You Off’ is THE song that you want to send to every ex you have as you look towards a brighter future.
Gomez also doesn’t play it safe on this record with a little bit of experimentation on the heavy R&B injected ‘Crowded Room’ which features 6lack and the ultimately groovy ‘A Sweeter Place’ which reminds you that Kid Cudi is not someone to be sleeping on.
‘Rare’ is a pop record with a lot of heart. It’s an album that tells her story in the most authentic, candid and honest way possible, and highlights a lot of growth within her musical process.
If you thought ‘Revival’ was the best thing she’s done to date in her career, you wait til you hear ‘Rare’.