Revival • Selena Gomez

7 July 2019

Selena Gomez, a princess of the music industry, released a third solo album that’s cleaner and richer than ever. Following her wild success with “Stars Dance” (2013) and “For You” (2014), “Revival” (2015) is full of flesh for an album in monotone colors. It feels totally fresh and more personal than many other big names on the shelf.

People are talking about Gomez’s breakaway from her Disney-friendly, teen-themed pop group Selena Gomez & the Scene. I can still remember trying to memorize the lyrics to “Who Says” in middle school and gushing over her latest music video. Some of those positive messages linger in “Revival,” but they’re smoothed over with a layer of glamour. They can be seen in the casual, whistling “Kill Em with Kindness,” and “Rise” has heart and uplifting lyrics.

“Revival” is filled with classy, smooth snaps and chirps, trademarks of the lush, minimalist mainstream pop of today. “Same Old Love” is one of the best examples, filled with cool anguish and sensuality all at once.

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Gomez tackles the album with what I would imagine your twenties are supposed to be like. There’s an inevitable energy, whirlwind of emotions, and putting yourself first. The songs deal with mature topics, like the greedy, giggly “Hands to Myself” and the Internet-famous “Good for You” featuring A$AP Rocky. “Me & the Rhythm” and “Body Heat” are music for the senses, while “Sober” and “Camouflage” are more serious, with frustration and anger locked tight in the lyrics.

“Revival” is an impressive new front in Gomez’s music, hard-earned and intriguing, raising the question of what’s next. Sometimes it’s disappointing that Gomez puts more oomph in the beats than in her promising lyrical power, but it’s admirable that she places herself first in the album. The results are beautiful.

Whether or not you’re one for celebrity gossip, you’ll appreciate Gomez’s public physical self-restoration. Her music comes from the inside out. It’s her revival.

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