Selena Gomez: Rare (Interscope/digital outlets)

 |   |  1 min read

Selena Gomez: Rare (Interscope/digital outlets)

While Elsewhere always takes considerable amusement in how many writers and producers it takes to shape a mainstream pop album these days (see the screenshot below!), we also believe that if that's what it takes to make a great album then that's what it takes.

Is this a great album by onetime Disney child star Gomez . . . who is now 27?

Well, actually that gets a very slightly qualified, “Yes”.

If for a moment we take Gomez out of the picture, those writers and producers have created terrific, often spacious, beat-driven (but not overdriven) beds. Check Dance Again or the casual appropriation of Latin rhythms on Ring.

This is sleek, chopped and channelled music with discreet placement of warm synths alongside the glitch (but not too glitchy) rhythms. Check the catchy Look At Her Now and terrific, sensual Let Me Get Me..

There's bubble and a beat behind Vulnerable which is both moody and clever, Fun is one of the weaker cuts but the substructure sells it.

As to Gomez's vocals, let's be honest she doesn't have a great range but mostly that isn't required here on these 13 songs where she gets writing co-credit, but when required she can extract the appropriate emotion and vulnerability as on Lose You To Love Me (one of the co-writers being Billie Eilish's gifted producer/brother Finneas).

And when she delivers what we might call the “revenge” songs – anyone who has followed her love life will know of her problems – she sounds subtle and surreptitious more than vitriolic, as on Cut You Off.

There's a little filler here (Crowded Room with rapper 6LACK adds nothing), but remarkably little and what there is so economic that it doesn't outstay its welcome.

Elsewhere always has a caveat about younger artists like Billie Eilish (great debut album), Charli XCX (again a fine album with last year's Charli) and Harry Styles (his new one is pretty good), it is “they don't make music for me”.

What can surprise however is that, given a fair hearing, these people can.

Selena Gomez, with this mature and accomplished album, has.

You can hear Rare by Selena Gomez at Spotify here

And here are the credits!

.

Screen_Shot_2020_01_13_at_4.30.21_PM

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Aaron Neville: My True Story (Blue Note)

Aaron Neville: My True Story (Blue Note)

Hmmm. Neville – whose high voice is most often described as angelic – on a selection of favourite doo-wop songs from the 50s/early 60s, and produced by Keith Richards and Don Was?... > Read more

Miss Black and the Light: Black Light (Ode)

Miss Black and the Light: Black Light (Ode)

It seems a shame the reggae-driven grooves are pushed right to the front end of this otherwise interesting album because that sound has become, as previously noted at Elsewhere, such a default... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC AWARDS (2014): Come and see the real thing . . .

THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC AWARDS (2014): Come and see the real thing . . .

The Star in Sydney – a block-occupying casino-cum-hotel with restaurant and bar complexes so large it needs needs no other name than that for a taxi driver – has at least half a... > Read more

MUSEUM CURATOR BRIAN GILL INTERVIEWED (2012): Past perfect for the future

MUSEUM CURATOR BRIAN GILL INTERVIEWED (2012): Past perfect for the future

In the 21st century museum of the popular imagination, musty cases and specimens under glass have been replaced by brightly coloured interactive displays, whizz-bang educational sites for... > Read more