While headlines over the past few years involving Selena Gomez revolved around her relationship with Justin Bieber, Gomez has changed the course of the conversation (and her image) along the way. For Gomez, the title of her new record Revival is very fitting. At 23-years-old, Gomez has lived a life most normal people haven’t—she’s been in the spotlight since she was 7 and lived her personal life publicly following the success of Disney’s The Wizards of Waverly Place. Joining the ranks of former Disney stars like Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff and Demi Lovato, Gomez is trying to shift the public’s attention to the fact that she is indeed older, more mature and deserves a solid amount of respect as a pop star. While the public is quick to focus on Gomez’s sexuality above her talent (A$AP Rocky decided to give his unfortunate two cents on the matter), Revival aims to steer the conversation towards her talent—something that should have been at the forefront of news stories from the start.
What’s interesting about Revival is that it doesn’t hone in on her relationships and personal life like the public does, it instead focuses on Gomez’s maturity, confidence, love (not necessarily about her ex) and how she’s earned her success. Not only does Revival show a maturity in lyrical form, but in Gomez’s vocals as well: from the opening title track, which shows Gomez spreading her vocal wings and reflecting on her past (‘I admit it’s been painful/But I’ll be honest I’m grateful’), to the 80s-infused “Sober” (‘You don’t know how to love me when you’re sober/When the bottle’s done you pull me closer’), Gomez has proved that she’s far beyond her child star past. She even shows off her ability to make more refined electropop-driven tracks with “Survivors” and “Me & The Rhythm”—revealing the star is more than just candy-coated. Revival is the perfect balance between dance-pop and the lines between emotional triumph and tragedy. And, it doesn’t look like Gomez is going anywhere anytime soon.
Stream the record in full below.