Selena Gomez - Rare
Selena Gomez it seems has been pitching the same story for years now. Wronged by former Boyfriend Justin Bieber in her own mind, the former Disney star has been trying to get over that breakup for what seems like decades. Through songs, Instagram posts, public breakdowns and any other form of publicity her people could get their hands on Selena has let the entire world in to her emotional struggles. Of course peppered in all these "real" moments were ads for McDonalds, DoorDash or any other advertiser willing to shell out some cash to reach Gomez's throngs of fans. That has always been the issue with Selena, whatever "realness" she is trying to portray, or whatever emotional stakes she is trying to put into her music are always diluted by this corporate shilling shit. This idea even permeates the reviews of this album: "Selena is back!" "Selena finally deals with her emotional trauma" are all the types of things you'll read but the fact is Selena really has very little to do with her albums, never has. Sure she sings, but the songs are chosen, produced and released with little input from Selena herself. They don't want you to know that, especially on songs like "Lose You to Love Me" where the sentiment is firmly placed in her experience with Bieber. Yet the song is so overblown and so melodramatic over, let's be clear here, a teenage relationship. It just doesn't make sense since Gomez dated multiple people after him.
This same criticism has been levied at Gomez friend Taylor Swift, even though Swift actually writes her own music. The two seems to get fixated and then can't move on and can't think of anything else. "Vulnerable" actually has a pretty nice beat, but again the lyrics are so on the nose and so similar to everything else that you loose interest. Then amongst these seemingly deep emotional tracks there are a sprinkling of club bangers, just to make sure she gets some radio play. Rare really can be summed up in one word and one sentiment: Pandering. That is what Selena has always done throughout her career and likely will continue to do so as long as accolades keep coming her way. It's frustrating.
4.9 out of 10