2021 • POP • INTERSCOPE
The first project entirely in Spanish by the American singer Selena Gomez has influences from reggaeton and sensual lyrics, but it seems as limited as her last project.
A few days after the release of her highly anticipated third studio album Rare, Selena Gomez gave an interview to Zane Lowe where she said, “This has been something I’ve wanted to do for 10 years, working on a Spanish project, because I’m so, so proud of my heritage, and just genuinely felt like I wanted this to happen.” Ironically, Gomez could do nothing in the coming months due to the Covid-19 world pandemic, which canceled the tour that would follow the release of her record. Although tough, in the end, it all fits like a glove for Gomez, who now had the time and availability to realize this dream of almost a decade. As a result of all this, Revelación, her first EP in Spanish, has influences from reggaeton and sensual lyrics, but it seems as limited as her last project.
Like other works that emerged during the quarantine, Revelación was recorded remotely at home, using Zoom for communication. Just before the recordings, Gomez contacted Leyla Hoyle-Guerrero, a language coach, to help her with her vocabulary, accent, and slang. In a way, this works since Gomez is incredibly natural and fluid in this set of seven catchy Latin pop songs. However, despite being entertaining, these tracks seem to suffer from the same problems that Rare‘s songs suffered: they are fun and relatively well-produced but constantly seem without personality and without something that makes them stand out. In other words, despite the many qualities, when you hear it, you seem to be listening to a usual playlist of the most played Latin songs of the past year.
Most of the songs in Revelación are not necessarily bad, however, they rarely have anything interesting, different, or surprising to show. In a nutshell, they work around electropop synthesizers that seem like the right bet for anyone who wants to make fast and successful music these days. “Buscando Amor,” for example, despite the good intentions of the lyric, it sounds like anything else that is successful. “Baila Conmigo,” in turn, despite having a promising start with some nice strings, when you get to the chorus, we end up going back to the same usual thing. Meanwhile, “Vicio” looks like an attempt to make a sound reinterpretation of “Lose You To Love Me,” and “Adiós” is just forgettable. These songs are not bad, they just do not show all the potential that Gomez has.
But luckily that doesn’t mean that some of the songs here don’t look neat. The opener and lead single, “De Una Vez,” is one of the best songs that Gomez has released in recent times. Despite being short and relatively simple in composition, the track has smooth, sweet, and really striking instrumentation. But the strong point is Gomez’s vocals, which in the chorus sound very delicate, fluid, and subtle — something that differs from Rare‘s vocal monotonicity. Also, we can mention “Dámelo To’,” with Myke Towers, which although not at all impressive, easily reminiscent of Major Lazer, has an interesting instrumental and a very addictive hook. Finally, the closing “Selfish Love,” with DJ Snake, is less different than what Gomez was already doing but that is also one of the reasons for this to work and to be more memorable than the rest.
Recently, in an interview with Vogue magazine, Selena Gomez says she thinks about retiring due to the Disney ghost that still haunts her. “It’s hard to keep doing music when people don’t necessarily take you seriously,” she said. Quickly, Cardi B positioned herself, “She needs one more era.” Like Cardi, we agree that Selena should not stop for now because she undoubtedly has the potential, she just needs to find a facet that makes the best of her, which is not this one.