After 4 studios albums, a band, and a new recording contract, Revival marks a departure from what audiences have come to expect from Selena Gomez.
As executive producer of the album and having a hand in writing at least half of the songs on the LP, it is quite obvious that Gomez has taken the reigns of her music. She leaves behind the pure bubblegum pop sound that dictated her most popular songs such as “Come and Get It” and “Love You Like a Love Song” for a more mature, mid-tempo, and inspired sound.
It’s her most personal and authentic album to date as showcased on songs such a “Sober.” Sonically very similar to Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap,” the song details a dysfunctional relationship with someone that can only love her when he’s intoxicated. Piano ballad “Camouflage” pulls at the heartstrings as Gomez sings about a broken relationship. One can only assume that the tracks are about ex Justin Bieber.
The time that Gomez has spent in Taylor Swift’s ”Girl Squad” has also affected her music. On the trancy “Survivors,” which sounds like it could be Kygo track, Gomez sings about true friendships and surviving breakups. Similarly, on the dancy club banger “Me & My Girls,” Gomez sings “I’m going home with who I came with and who I came with’s not you” and “Me and my girls, me and my girls, you can look, but don’t touch/ I’m not here to hook up. I’m just here to turn up. Tonight is just us.”
While the album undoubtedly is a Pop album, the R&B and Hip-Hop influenced are undeniable. The impact the people that assisted Gomez with record is apparent. Producers such as Rock Mafia, Benny Blanco, Hot-Boy, and Max Martin help Gomez create a sonically cohesive album with slick production and unforgettable catchy beats that will be stuck in listener’s heads.
Assisted by Max Martin and up and coming producer duo Mattman and Robin, the production on “Hands to Myself” is next level with minimal beats and a restrained chorus accompany the sexy song about obsession. The album’s opener and title track, “Revival” also features the same minimal beats and Gomez’s whisper-like singing. The album’s second single, “Same Old Love,” written and clearly inspired by Charli XCX, features a soaring chorus and a thumping and throwback beat.
Revival marks a new era for Gomez’s music career. She has found her sound and executes it to a tee. Gomez and her producers have found where her voice soars, a sexy, raspy, low whisper and they utilize it to the best of its abilities. Gomez takes ownership of her sexuality and dishes it out with confidence on Revival. Fans of her previous work will continue to appreciate her music, but it will also recruit skeptics, making Revival a must-listen.
Recommended tracks: Hands to Myself, Same Old Love, Me & the Rhythm