It has been four years since Selena Gomez released her last album, “Revival,” and I was happy to wait this long for great work. Gomez has said that she wanted to wait for the right time to release “Rare,” and listeners can clearly hear how this album is the product of years of hard work.
Indeed, the past few years have not been so easy for the singer either. From health struggles to intrusive media coverage of her love life, Gomez has experienced some hard times.
And that’s why “Rare” is an important album for her: It’s the record of her growth and development. “Rare” evidences Gomez’s emotional maturation as she learns to move past disappointment and love herself. The album is lively and empowering, showing Gomez at the top of her game.
“Rare” is also fittingly named. It’s uncommon to find such a well-done, cohesive pop album that is also authentic and fun to listen to all the way through.
One of the album’s greatest strengths is how cohesive it is. The songs sound similar but have a variety that keeps listeners interested. Not only is the music cohesive, the lyrics are also connected. Certain songs relate to each other in a meaningful way that allows listeners to understand Gomez’s feelings better and link the pieces of the album together.
The album’s other great strength is its theme. Every song puts Gomez, her experience and her goals at its center, allowing her to communicate a message of self-love. The album recognizes her rarity, her maturity and her capacity for fun. She has moved beyond the past, accepted her emotions and intends to exercise her freedom. Gomez released “Rare” at the appropriate time for her, and it enabled her to share what she’s learned over the past few years.
The title track is perhaps the best song on the album. “Rare” is catchy, upbeat and empowering. It sets the tone for the record to be one of self-love and acceptance.
The first half of the album also includes the songs “Dance Again,” “Ring” and the single “Look At Her Now.” With these tracks, Gomez displays how she’s moved on from the past to lead a fun and fulfilling life.
In fact, though some songs on the album describe the end of a relationship, Gomez always takes a positive look at the situation. In “Cut You Off,” she’s ending a relationship and moving on because she knows it’s simply not good for her anymore. And in “Kinda Crazy,” Gomez sings about having fun with someone who is a little wild. There’s “no damage done” since she knows it’s only a fling.
Another standout is “Vulnerable.” Gomez achieves authenticity with this track, singing about how she will allow herself to remain vulnerable in a relationship even though she has previously experienced heartbreak.
The way Gomez weaves themes of maturity, self-love and freedom throughout her tracks brings “Rare” together. The album is fun and easy to dance to, celebrating Gomez’s new chapter in life while paying respect to the tough experiences she went through to inspire the record. It might be too soon to say that “Rare” is the best album of 2020, but there’s no doubt Gomez is starting off the year on a high note.
Stephanie Santillo is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.