Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Selena Gomez 'STARS DANCE' Album Review!


"Birthday" is a questionable album opener, with some obvious mature themes that aren't really consistent with the rest of the album. The electronic garage house track definitely sees Gomez at her most experimental, and while we can definitely see Gomez dipping her toe in a lot of different genres with this song -- which is extremely refreshing -- the song's lyrics are ultimately fairly repetitive and predictable, however we still appreciate Gomez's unexpected take on this genre.

"Slow Down" sets up the electro-dubstep-pop sound for the rest of the album. Reminscent of tracks by Zedd and Swedish House Mafia, the song sees Gomez uttering some pretty sexy sentences such as "You know I'm good with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Breathe me in, Breathe me out, so amazing" and "No stopping 'til the morning, You know I'm ready for it". Gomez's first take of the dubstep genre offers a generally subpar vocal performance and a fairly generic electronic sound, however will nonetheless communicate with her fans as well as fans of the genre.

"Like A Champion" is one of the album's highlights; a banging Summer track with reggae undertones that create definite Carribean vibes. Including a great sample and an infectious chorus and beat, the song is a perfect summer dance album that will shine on stage at her upcoming world tour. During the hook, Gomez ultilizes an Antilles accent that can easily be compared to work from Rihanna. While the song's care-free attitude and lyrics may not communicate with all listeners, the song will definitely be a staple for most listeners in their teens and 20's.

"Come & Get It" was a wise choice for the album's lead single, as it is one of few songs on the album that is suited for mainstream radio. The song, which draws influences from worldbeat and tribal music and contains a middle-eastern sample, is an infectious radio Summer hit. It's lyrics may be repetitive to some listeners, and its writers definitely weren't aiming for a song with a unique lyrical message, however the song will nonetheless continue to rise on the charts and has already proved to be one of the most popular songs of the year.

"Forget Forever" will likely be a favorite of fans of Gomez's previous work, however is also a solid track for new listeners who are favor her more experimental work on Stars Dance. The song, like many others on the album, is a soaring Summer track with a Summer-y electronic light-hearted dance break. The song is an upbeat hit sure to be a staple for any listeners who are recently single and ready to mingle, and is the most pop track on Stars Dance. The song also benefits from Gomez's pop-perfection vocals.

"Save The Day" sees a return to the garage house sound heard in the album's opening track. The song contains a dubstep-inspired dance break and uses a production that draws influences from acid-y dubstep songs by other artists that heavily utilizes synthesizers. While the lyrics start off as generally inventive, by the end of the song it seems as if the writers are relying on idiosyncratic metaphors, making the song's lyrics not match the production.

"B.E.A.T." begins with a hip house, heavily computerized verse that will immediately remind listeners of Dev's contribution to Far East Movement's hit "Like a G6". The song proceeds to some bass-y beats that are again heavy on synthesizers. The song then takes an unexpected hip hop acid house turn, again showing that Gomez is not afraid to experiment with her latest record. While the song's lyrics may not be the greatest, the song is a definite club hit that will communicate with Gomez's mature listeners - particularly ones in their 20's or maybe even early 30's.

"Write Your Name" opens with some auto-tuned up-pitched soaring vocals over a simple synthesizer beat, before the beat drops and is replaced by a slightly more intense, semi-dubstep beat. As the song continues, it may give listeners vibes reminiscent of K-Pop artists (without being as annoying). The song's lyrics are at times unique, however are mostly somewhat annoying and strange. The song isn't one of the album's stand-outs, however is a tune that will be a pick for listeners looking for a more beach-friendly song during the Summer months.

"Undercover" may draw an influence from Ke$ha's hit "Die Young" -- which is shown through the album's use of heavy synthesizers and a standout dancey dance break, as well as infectious lyrics. As the song continues, it is shown that the track is one of the album's most electropop songs, while not failing to dabble in more experimental genres, such as dubstep -- which, by this point on the record, is becoming more of an obvious entity than a subtle presence on the album.

"Love Will Remember" starts off with a voice mail recording of a male voice -- allegedly Gomez's on-an-off, maybe, probably-ex Justin Bieber -- who professes his love for Gomez. The voice recording is projected over a simple melodious piano backdrop. The song than transitions to some pretty emotional words, with nothing but a piano in the background. But don't be mistaken -- the song isn't a ballad. Well, not quite. A synthesizer is added to the piano, and Gomez insists that "love will remember you, love will remember me". We're not really sure that means, and similar to other portions of the album, the song relies on a personified metaphor that doesn't make much sense. Although the song is not exactly a ballad, it sees Gomez at her most poignant on the album, and while the song was largely anticipated due to the media attention surrounding the break-up of "Jelena", the song's minimal production means it is far from the album's most memorable track.

Overall, Stars Dance is an inventive album that sees Gomez transition perfectly to a unique and mature sound that will gain her new fans while still maintaining fans of her previous albums. While her vocals may be considered by some to be subpar, Gomez has proven that she has enough talent to be alongside other mainstream artists, and Stars Dance provides enough hits and potential single choices to keep Gomez musically relevant during her upcoming musical hiatus.

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