Selena Gomez – Revival (Interscope/Polydor, 2015)
For all her fame and fortune, Selena Gomez has had it rough. Being young, female and successful brings out the worst in the seething masses. And now, lupus. Eesh. Though Revival should be taken seriously, the results are seriously baffling. Gomez has one of the most expressive voices in modern pop, but all over Revival, it’s hidden by weird, artistically anachronistic production. EDM is necessary for chart success—but trap? Faux-CHVRCHES? Why go from an A$AP Rocky-featuring banger to a piano ballad, then right back to the club? “Body Heat” is the perfect example of her lack of direction. Mashing Latin beats, murky trap and lazy EDM, the song is disjointed and confusing. On it, Gomez sounds confused, like a hungover Shakira. If a functional 2015 pop album seemingly has to be all over the place, this collection of weirdness does Gomez’s so-called “revival” no favors.
Trial Track: “Body Heat”