Album Review: Rare by Selena Gomez By Molly Concannon

Selena Gomez fans everywhere can finally rejoice! After 5 years, Selena released her long-awaited third studio album ~Rare~ on January 10. In October of 2019, Selena released two singles off the album, ‘Lose You to Love Me’ and ‘Look at Her Now.’ Both singles did very well topping charts in the United States and globally, and the albums’ release also came in the top thirty on the Billboard Hot 100. 

 

Rare features 13 songs falling within the pop genre, though Selena has clearly experimented instrumentally. Her intricate lyrics proclaiming self-worth, moving on, and staying vulnerable are overlaid by equally interesting rhythms that vary in beat and instruments. The album starts with the eponymous song ‘Rare’. ‘Rare’ features beautiful lyrics about recognizing your own worth and uniqueness while still maintaining a catchy pop beat. ‘Rare’ is followed by the equally upbeat ‘Dance Again.’ ‘Dance Again’ shows off Selena’s variety, as this song brushes the EDM genre while Selena maintains her own signature sound. 

 

 

Selena is also able to mix genres in this album by creating two stellar collaborations with artists outside her own pop genre. Two rappers, Kid Cudi and 6LACK, are featured on Rare, adding depth to what would be two fairly average songs. 6LACK’s verse in the song ‘Crowded Room’ adds an extra flair that was desperately needed, and his voice perfectly entwined with the lyrics and slow R&B rhythms. Kid Cudi’s additions blend well with Selena’s own voice in the song ‘Sweeter Place,’ and the techno beats are certainly different from all the other songs on the album. 

 

An equally genre-bending song is ‘Ring.’ This fifth song on the album is less pop and more Latin American Jazz-esque. The sultry lyrics and rhythm allow the listener to easily imagine Selena singing in a 1940s Jazz Club as dancers in red tango past the stage. ‘Ring’ is followed by a more heart-felt song ‘Vulnerable’ which features some of Selena’s best songwriting abilities. The delicate lyrics tell a story of finding strength in vulnerability and the courage it takes to remain open after heartbreak. 

 

 

However, the song that shows even more vulnerability than ‘Vulnerable’ is the first single Selena released ‘Lose You To Love Me.’ This single encompasses everything Rare represents: heartbreak, hurting, and self-discovery. Also, the rawness, relatability, and emotional aspects of this song make it possibly the best on the album. 

 

Collegiettes, Selena’s album is well worth the listen and certainly worth the 5 year wait!