Rare

Interscope

Selena Gomez has described her first album since 2015 as a “diary,” and if you wanted to know exactly what’s been going through her mind during the many struggles she’s had since then, it’s essentially all here in crystal-clear detail.

Going through trauma can’t be easy when you’re one of the most followed people on Instagram. After some highly-publicized health struggles – both physical and mental – and a lengthy breakup with a certain Canadian pop heartthrob, Gomez uses her new album as an opportunity to move past the pain with upbeat dance-pop production from the industry’s most reliable hitmakers and lyrics centred around self-love.

Seemingly taking inspiration from her closest friend, songwriter extraordinaire Julia Michaels, some of these tracks hit harder emotionally because of their vivid lyrical specificity. With her trademark whispery, vulnerable vocal delivery, she casually drops references to her medication in the context of fun pop songs. There are more than a few less-than-subtle shots at The Biebs.

Linking up with kindred spirit Kid Cudi, who has had his own share of mental health problems, on the album’s closing track is another very powerful moment.

Rare, at its core, is about finally being able to go out and have fun once again without everything weighing on her. Gomez is back, and “Look At Her Now.”

Best Track: Vulnerable

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