- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 28 October 2015
- Written by JULIA BURKE | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Selena Gomez emphasizes confidence and individuality in her new album Revival, which was released on Oct. 9. The former Disney Channel star displays her maturity and growth as an artist in her latest record.
The cover of the album is simple: it’s black-and-white and Gomez appears serene and natural. Her wavy, black hair rests on her shoulders and she has a serious expression on her face. She is stripped down to her underwear, displaying that she embraces and takes pride in her body, despite hateful comments she has received on Instagram.“I feel very empowered and confident in where I am,” she explained On the Air with Ryan Seacrest. “I think it took me a long while to get there because the past year was so interesting because I’ve never been body-shamed before.”
The nasty remarks only motivated the pop star. She told Extra, “I was getting a lot of hate for my body and ‘you’re gaining weight,’ and so I was in Mexico and I was just feeling all of this stuff and I would be lying to you if I said it didn’t’t kind of hurt my feelings, but I kind of channeled that into my music.” While listening to her new music, I was immersed in this emotion that Gomez poured into the album.
The record had me mesmerized from start to finish, commencing with the self-titled song, “Revival.” The single enticed me by opening up with Gomez reciting poetry,
“I dive into the future / But I’m blinded by the sun / I’m reborn in every moment / So who knows what I’ll become.”
These lines are meditational and spiritual, setting the mood for the rest of the album. The songs are a mixture of pop and electronic dance music and incorporate the common theme of empowerment. I’m usually not a big fan of EDM, but Gomez includes meaningful lyrics into the upbeat, synthesized sounds, making each tune intriguing. It sounds like she is talking the songs, whispering them into my ear, making the words soothing and personal. The music combines two great elements: it contains strong emotion while simultaneously making me want to dance.
The eloquence of the language and literary devices within the lyrics really caught my attention. Gomez uses a play on words in “Same Old Love,” describing, “You left in peace, left me in pieces.” She creatively demonstrates the contrast between her lover’s feelings and her feelings after a relationship by using homophones with two opposite meanings. In “Body Heat” she exclaims, “If you’re the flame, I’m kerosene”; this metaphor is evocative and it made me really envision the comparison.
The background music to these impactful lyrics was captivating as well. “Kill em with Kindness” includes this fascinating whistle sound that lured me in. The song “Hands to Myself” attracted me because it’s different from all the other tracks on the album and it almost has a tribal music feel. The tenth single on the album, “Body Heat,” changes courses and has a Spanish vibe, beginning with acoustic guitar and emerging with a saxophone in the chorus, creating a danceable rhythm.
Gomez slows down the tempo with the song “Camouflage,” using solely her voice accompanied by piano. It expresses her vulnerability and allows her to release emotions that she was keeping bottled up; she wants to tell her lover how she feels, but he “might just not care, and it might just not help.”
Some of Gomez’s songs discuss her problems with relationships, such as being “sick of the same old love,” and are believed to be inspired by her ex-boyfriend, Justin Bieber. Between 2011 and 2014, she went through a tumultuous, on-and-off again relationship with the fellow pop star. It appears that the meaning of the record correlates with her relationship with her past lover. Her idea of a “revival” is gaining strength from the past and starting off fresh. She wants to break from being identified as Bieber’s girlfriend and she doesn’t want to be labeled as anything other than herself.
Gomez sings in Revival that “It’s my, my my time to butterfly,” and she is certainly correct. She surges as an impressive artist in the music industry and the future is only looking bright for her with this entrancing new record.
IMAGE TAKEN from hngn.com