I had honestly never counted myself as a Selena Gomez fan before. I bought a few of her albums when I was younger, in her Disney days, and watched her shows and movies, but as I grew and so did she, my interest in the young Latina actress and singer dwindled. I considered her a mock artist, one that finds a place on the charts solely due to fans from a previous success, a.k.a. for kids. Recently I decided I would give her new album a listen. I had heard “Come and Get It” and something about the tribal beats and infectious chorus caught my ear. Now, after seeing Selena in Spring Breakers, a movie I adore, my confidence in her as an actress did, in fact, increase. I was disappointed that she was the kind of wimp-out character in the indie film, but I was willing to take it, after her emotional performance throughout the majority of scenes. She has always succeeded with a sort of faux innocence, in this particular movie playing a religious character named Faith, yet smoking a bong and messing around with a gun. I believed in her role because I believe that it mirrors who she is. This is only supported with her new album. Her new music has taken me by surprise and I’m actually impressed. Now that she’s 21, more mature themes and more wild backdrops are completely appropriate and well appreciated. The album’s tone seems brightly fresh, a transition from her days of making cheesy love songs and costume-filled videos.
“Birthday” is one of my favorites on the album, as a party tune that will not get out of my head. I can call myself a party girl, and I absolutely am obsessed with the lyrics: ” tell them that it’s my birthday when I party like that”. Great excuse, Sel! In “Undercover” , a real dance hit, she sings “I need to find a place where we can be alone in the dark,” over fabulous Britney-esque beats. The fast-paced songs on the album excel, and although the love songs aren’t as strong, they aren’t painful like they used to be. “Write Your Name” and “Slow Down” succeed as catchy and lovey songs.
Part of the reason that the album cooperates so well is that Selena doesn’t seem to take any of the songs too seriously. This is her most genuine album yet. You can truly hear the fun she had in each song, and the faith she has in the meaning of each lyric. I used to call Selena bland, and I never meant it as an insult, but an interpretation.. but now I realize it’s just taken her time to come into her own. I would actually love to see her in more big-screen flicks, on the cover of more big-time fashion magazines, and at the top of the charts with more big-time hits. It puts a smile on my face that another young woman has finally come to realization that she has the power to influence others through her art, and that becoming a pop diva is an attainable dream. After hearing her mature, majestic, and motivated new album, I can finally say that I can predict and support her achieving just that. Stars really do dance.