Album Review: Selena Gomez Bares All & Shows Mature Side on "Revival"

Selena Gomez has grown up. If that wasn’t evident from her recent singles, “Good for You” and “Same Old Love,” Gomez’s album release of Revival cements the singer’s plummet into the life of a grown woman. The album cover itself argues this message, as it is Gomez posed completely naked. The album includes “Good for You” and “Same Old Love” as well as twelve other sexual, empowering tracks that create a Beyoncé-like twist to Gomez. There is a combination of fast and slow paced songs, but the general tone is pop-infused backbeats with playful lyrics. 

Gomez’s first stand out track on the album is “Revival.” It begins with a monologue from Gomez herself, stating, “I dive into the future, but I am blinded by the sun. I am reborn in every moment, so who knows what I’ll become.”  The song’s message is exactly what its title states: Gomez’s revival. Whether she means literally due to her hiatus from music back in 2013 that fans now know was due to her lupus diagnosis, or figuratively as a pick-me-up call to action, Gomez demonstrates a desire to continue her journey. It is imminent that this song begins the album, as it sets the tone for the remaining tracks.

Attention to the other side of Gomez’s album, the sexually charged and the intimate, must be noted. “Body Heat” is one song that includes a Latin-sounding backbeat all about seducing a guy. “All I need, all I need is your body heat right next to me.” Furthermore, Gomez states, “My red lips have found a new obsession.” This is certainly a song to look out for on the club scene because the beat makes for dance-oriented music while the lyrics are fun and free.

“Me and My Girls” is another more promiscuous song that Gomez accomplishes off the album. It’s a powerful combination of a complimentary ode to her friends as well as a tease to men. “I know we’re making you thirsty, you want us all in the worst way, but you don’t understand, I don’t need a man, me and my girls.” This is certainly a track that any girl friend group can blast getting ready to go out or in any social setting. It’s a declaration for love of friends even if men are tempting; “I’m going home with who I came with, and who I came with’s not you.” It screams G.N.O. and also infuses Latin-sounding beats with the saxophone in the background. 

As much as the album includes fun songs such as “Me and My Girls” and “Body Heat,” Gomez still keeps the theme of empowerment alive with “Rise.” The lyrics are about standing up against one’s struggles with inner strength. The chorus repeats the phrase, “You can rise.” With a choral accompaniment in the background, it sounds as if a fleet of people is encouraging the listener to rise. The effect is powerful. Gomez becomes a supporter of her fans through “Rise,” a tool that demonstrates a successful conversation between musician and listener. Musicians have the ability to convey messages, both positive and negative, and Gomez takes advantage of promoting female empowerment in addition to feminine sexuality.

Gomez has beautifully transitioned from a Disney tween star to a gorgeous female role model in Hollywood. Her album, Revival, attains many qualities of other successful female musicians of this era. Her pop sound from previous albums still resonates, but Gomez accomplishes conveying the two important sides of what it means to be a modern-day female: sexuality and strength.