Selena Gomez – Revival

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Selena Gomez' most recent album is her strongest yet and suggests Selena might have more substance than we thought. Jessikah Hope Stenson reviews.

Everyone’s been saying that Selena Gomez has finally found her sound with her new album, Revival. After three albums under the name Selena Gomez & The Scene and one previous LP as a solo artist, it’s about time she discovered her sound. Selena was either dragging out her career downfall over five albums, or losing her way and then finding herself. I’d argue it’s the latter.

There are some key changes from Selena’s old releases that Revival exposes, most noticeably Selena’s new found vocal ability. Previously, Gomez has been criticised for her supposedly weak vocals, especially after performing live on the radio. I can’t tell whether it’s the work of the production team or Gomez herself but some of the tracks on Revival seem to completely throw out that criticism with powerful, bold notes – just listen to Me & The Rhythm to witness this.

It has to be said, on the song Same Old Love, Selena Gomez sounds exactly like Charlie XCX – it’s uncanny. I saw Charlie XCX perform live once and let’s just say, I can’t stand her music, her persona or how much she loves herself. Having said that, I adore Selena’s song Same Old Love. Maybe it’s Selena’s modest personality or the catchy-but-not-annoying nature of the song. Either way, it’s one of the tracks on the LP that will hugely boost the album’s popularity.

Likewise, Good For You, which has been on YouTube for some months now, is seemingly a favourite with online fans. The album version features A$AP Rocky, which ruins the song. Let’s face it, after Taylor Swift got Kendrick Lamar on Bad Blood, it was inevitable her BFF Selena would jump on the bandwagon. It’s just a shame Selena didn’t get many writing tips from Taylor as lyrically the album isn’t stunning.

Kill ‘Em With Kindness is distinctive thanks to the whistled tune that introduces the track. Although the chorus is incredibly repetitive, I can imagine this song getting a lot of radio play so it’s not all bad.

Revival does have one major flaw which could have so easily been avoided. Every single song seems to relate to romantic relationships and there’s only so many times someone can sit through eleven songs of love, lust and heartbreak. Sober and Camouflage both reveal a really honest part of Gomez’s song-writing and truly encapsulates her broken heart. Job done. There’s no need for the rest of the songs that drag this out and kill the emotional power she so elegantly created.

There is no doubt that Revival is a large step up from Selena’s previous albums and that she has definitely taken a step in the right direction. We can only hope this development continues in her future releases. Who knows, maybe one day she will do a Miley Cyrus, say “f*** you” to her record label, and make an artistic 23-track album demonstrating that she is in fact invested in the music and not the money.

Picks: Same Old Love, Sober, Camouflage
Rating: 3/5