Selena Gomez ‘Revival’ Album Review Roundup

October 9, 2015

Selena Gomez’s new album is ‘Revival.’ The pop music superstar returns with a sophomore solo album and a new record label, and much fanfare leading up to its release. Now the critics are weighing in with their review. Find out what’s being said.

Selena Gomez

At 23, Selena Gomez is now years away from Disney Channel childhood stardom, and even a few years away from her early beginnings in pop music with her former band The Scene. Yes, we are moving along, as this is the sophomore solo album, although the first with her new label, Interscope, after cutting ties with Hollywood Records. This declaration of independence has been the pervasive them of her album promotion.

Countless interviews have seen her tell fans and the world that now, after Disney, after Justin Bieber and all else, she is her own person. And it’s not been without effort. Fame these days isn’t what it used to be, and as one who, at age seven, was famous in the pre-social media days, even that is no preparation for the current landscape of cyberbullying and trolls, to say nothing of paparazzi and tabloids.

‘Revival’ is an evocative title, after all, and open to many interpretations. And, with the striking cover image of a tastefully black-and-white photo of Selena Gomez sans clothing, she’s done much to convey a new image and to live a new, more unfettered life. And, one hopes, a happier one.

But ultimately, this is an album of music and critics asses it and fans consider buying it, that is the ultimate test, after all, of the very public transition and the racy songs — especially ‘Good for You’ — that signal an artist trying to appeal to an audience that’s old enough to vote in elections, not just online popularity polls.

Here’s a roundup of what critics are saying.

“….Gomez’s high-profile celebrity—she’s Justin Bieber’s ex and Taylor Swift’s BFF—may be off-putting for aesthetes and music snobs, but they’ll be missing out: Revival is as fresh and forward-thinking as the music of indie darlings Tove Lo and FKA twigs….” — Entertainment Weekly

“….She corrects course on “Revival,” venturing into new sonic territory that reveals an affinity for minimalist dance beats and smoldering R&B grooves. As heard on the album’s first single, “Good for You,” a narcotic love song featuring rapper A$AP Rocky, she is more at ease singing these sultry songs rather than the generic electro-pop of her previous efforts. She’s using her voice to fuller effect, too, exploring her lower range and playing up the smokier edges of her speaking voice….” — The Boston Globe

“….The album is frequently dark and ominous, full of torch songs, with just enough stylish electronic dance music synths and upbeat melodies to enliven the mood. ….” Newsday

“….The transition from micro-managed teen idol to adult pop star is never easy, but Selena Gomez makes the leap with rare confidence and grace on Revival — a winning addition to the canon of reins-taking, independence-declaring female pop albums that can be traced back to Janet Jackson’s Control…..” Idolator

As critics weigh in, it’s clear that the emerging pop music artist’s efforts are acknowledged and, at times celebrated. One has a sense that this is but the beginning of what could be a long and exciting career, and certainly a triumph given the never navigation from Disney stardom. And thus we have Selena Gomez’s ‘Revival.’

Pictures: PR Photos

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