Selena Gomez
Revival


3.5
great

Review

by samkerner USER (8 Reviews)
October 13th, 2015 | 24 replies


Release Date: 10/09/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Good enough for you.

With one breath and a drop of sensual, yet menacing synths, Selena Gomez’s lead single “Good for You” seemed to be born out of some sort of immaculate conception. For a star whose musical presence has always simply been pleasant at best, “Good for You” was alarming, and unbelievably refreshing. Sexy without trying to shock, poised without posturing, mature without being portentous: “Good for You” was the best surprise to happen to pop music this summer. Other artists tried – Demi Lovato’s clamorous “Cool for the Summer” comes to mind – but Gomez seemed at last to sound like someone, and it was someone arresting. The lyrics appear submissive, yet it’s the most powerful and focused she’s ever been. It’s a stance that’s reflected in the album artwork: the deluxe edition features her naked and seemingly vulnerable, but she stares down the camera, not to invite, but to challenge. It seemed that, finally, Selena Gomez wasn’t just a name to hand songs to. She was bona fide musical presence, coming into her own. A revival.

There are plenty of moments on Revival that head in that direction. “Hands to Myself” excels for almost the exact same reasons that “Good for You” does. Minimalism. Personality. Determined sexuality. Breath" Gomez is easing into musical maturity easily, and it’s resulting in her most compelling work to date. “Body Heat” also finds her going where she hasn’t gone before: “Like a diamond, I need a little pressure/so press me down, until I scream.” It’s not as minimal, but it’s just as strong, and a little more fun. And on the defiant, Charli XCX-assisted “Same Old Love” and the piano ballad “Camouflage,” she breaks spades with swearing. That wouldn’t matter as much if Miley Cyrus hadn’t set the precedent for the wildest way to shed the skin of a child star, but it still sends a clear message: Selena Gomez makes grown-up music now.

Revival far transcends her gaudy previous release, Stars Dance. But there is a thin air of disappointment that hangs over Revival. We don’t need an album of “Good for Yous”, but there are a few too many tracks that find Gomez regressing into the faceless singer that she was too content with being for too long. The album starts strong with the stuttering title track, but “Kill Em With Kindness” sounds like the average Selena Gomez single to be released a few months in the future: ordinary, uninvolving, enjoyable enough, and not much more. “Me & the Rhythm” is an even worse offender, being a totally dry and conventional I-just-love-the-music-so-let-me-dance-because-dancing-makes-me-free pop jam. The bonus tracks on the deluxe edition are far superior to at least a third of the record. “Me and my Girls” is a kiss-off with a mean streak, “Nobody” is a dark torch song, and “Perfect” sounds like actual heartbreak. They actually sound like the work of an artist who, as she sings in the title track, is becoming her own salvation.

“Camouflage,” then, becomes a kind of Freudian slip for Gomez and her songwriters. It’s the best demonstration on the album of her admittedly stellar vocal ability, where she admits “I got so much s--- to say/but I can't help feeling like I'm camouflage.” It’s also one of the drabber moments on the record. She sounds like an American Idol contestant, or a demo for Avril Lavigne. Beige as can be. She has things to say, musical statements she wants heard, but she’s yet to form a definite image in the pop landscape. And that’s been the key issue with her music for a long time: what exactly does a Selena Gomez song sound like" Up until now, it seemed like the answer was whatever somebody thought she could market. Her latest release is the closest she’s come to giving us an answer, by finally making music on her own terms. It may not be a full revival, but it is, at last, a sign of life.



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user ratings (86)
Chart.
2.9
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
samkerner
October 13th 2015


9 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wouldn't call it "great," but 3.5 seems appropriate. Also need to fix the italics.

Insurrection
October 13th 2015


24719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good album. 3.2

Digging: Dark Tranquillity - Fiction

Cygnatti
October 13th 2015


32761 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good for ya and heart wants are sooooo good

alt r&b 4dawin

Keyblade
October 13th 2015


26859 Comments


all i know is good for you is really damn good, will listen

Digging: Quantec - Unusual Signals

Cygnatti
October 13th 2015


32761 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

idk sach, i haven't heard this in full but the first single from this rules, the other two are kinda bleh. the real question will be: will the new selena or demi be better?!?!?

Cygnatti
October 13th 2015


32761 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

cool for the summer is cool in the mindless pop shite kinda way

but confident is plain bad.

Cygnatti
October 13th 2015


32761 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

can't really imagine anyone would love doing so

Cygnatti
October 13th 2015


32761 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That's lycanthropy

Gyromania
October 13th 2015


26611 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yes, lupus is an autoimmune disease that confuses healthy cells as bad ones and attacks them. sufferers of lupus have a lifelong struggle with it as there's no cure and many terrible symptoms.



there was a very insightful article published just recently about it that you can read here: http://www.vox.com/2015/10/12/9488359/i-have-lupus

treeqt.
October 13th 2015


16962 Comments


y'all never watched house?

Mutantsnowstorm
October 13th 2015


504 Comments


Most disney stars were either held back by their squeeky clean reputation and either fell out of the public eye or became a little nuts trying to break out of that background, Selena is one of the few who managed to break out without losing her shit, it's a shame to hear about her struggle with lupus

GeorgePearrison
October 13th 2015


12 Comments


stellar vocal ability? that's just not true, but i think she did a good job on this

GeorgePearrison
October 13th 2015


12 Comments


i don't disagree with you, but the reviewer admits that she has "stellar vocal ability" which is strange to me. that's not to say she doesn't have a nice voice.

Cygnatti
October 13th 2015


32761 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

She has a decent voice that can pull off better songs, but certainly not at all stellar.

Keyblade
October 14th 2015


26859 Comments


definitely surprising tho. I had no idea she had them kinda chops

PolarTheQueen
October 25th 2015


1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Standard Version would only be a 3 but the Deluxe Songs are too great to ignore (Perfect could've replaced Me & The Rhythm or Kill Em With Kindness). 3.5 seems fine but honestly more like a 3.3. An enjoyable listen but not necessarily "Great".

Gyromania
November 17th 2015


26611 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is a good album. good for you is ace

mifzal
November 18th 2015


3220 Comments


"stellar vocal ability"
Nope, not even by karaoke standards. She has a sweet voice but definitely needs a voice teacher and work on her singing. However that doesn't mean she cannot be a decent artist...sadly she's not even decent. Miley is a much better singer...still whatever

Archael
November 18th 2015


1163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is like way better than dead petz tho

SharkTooth
November 18th 2015


13965 Comments


only Selena Gomez song i've heard is Naturally and it was aight, would I dig?



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