Listening to Selena Gomez’s new album, “For You,” took me on a trip down memory lane. The album, a collection of her career-encompassing greatest hits, is a perfect testament to the singer’s evolvution from a baby-faced teen starlet to the stunning 22-year-old who took our breath away with her performance at the American Music Awards on Nov. 23rd.
Gomez’s hit single, “The Heart Wants What it Wants,” is the main feature of the album. The song is memorable and perfectly catchy, but Gomez also manages to weave in tangibly painful, raw emotion into the song. Though the popstar is famous for upbeat songs, “The Heart Wants What it Wants” offers a glimpse of the dark emotion that lies in Gomez’s heart. “There’s a million reasons why I should give you up, but the heart wants what it wants,” she sings passionately and presumably, about her rocky relationship with her on-and-off boyfriend, Justin Bieber.
Bieber’s influence on Gomez’s music continues with “My Dilemma 2.0,” a song from her 2011 album “When the Sun Goes Down.” The lyrics are engaging and genuine, but the lighthearted and quick beat that the song was set to seemed slightly out of place, especially when addressing the topic of an unhealthy relationship.
In “Do It,” Gomez manages to sneak in a few words on love-making and sets it to an R&B beat. “Más” is a Spanish track from Gomez’s 2008 album “Kiss and Tell” and also a testament to her Mexican heritage. Continuing with the theme of Latin American songs, Selena salutes her namesake–the best selling Latin artist Selena Quintillana- -in “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.” As a fan of Spanish culture and both Selenas, I was excited to see that Gomez was able to create something truly beautiful and moving to honor the late Quintillana.
Some of the other older songs on Gomez’s album are “Falling Down” and “Love You Like a Love Song.” Both songs are flawless milestones in the early era of Gomez’s career. Although the album leaves these songs untouched, Gomez’s choice to create dance remixes of “Naturally” and “Forget Forever” was a true mistake.
“For You” is purchase-worthy, and Gomez justifies the purchase of her new album by including singles that give fans a summation of how much she has grown as an artist. If Gomez’s lead single, “The Heart Wants What It Wants” is any indication of her future growth as a singer, then I have high hopes for her future albums. However, instead of buying the album on iTunes, I would much rather listen to the album on Spotify for free. I daresay you would, too.
– Eshani Kishore