Selena Gomez // Revival
Format: CD, Vinyl, Streaming, Digital Download, Cassette
Release Date: October 9th, 2015
Album Number: 5
Intro- Revival is a statement and a very bold one on that note. I feel like when I hear the word revival, I think of rebirth and reinvent yourself or your image. This is the first album that she had creative control and her first album with a new record label, and she was branching out from the Disney image even more than her previous album. I know when I heard about this album, I was excited because I knew that Selena would deliver an album and I just couldn’t wait for what she had cooking up from the past 2 years between this album and the last album. Revival changed how I looked at her but also how I looked at Pop music and how things are always evolving and changing.
The Album- This is Selena’s 5th album from her whole career but her 2nd solo album. A lot had happened from her last album. This was her first album outside of Disney’s record label and her first album she was an executive producer on the album. Which meant that she had full control of every decision and she picked the first single and much more. When the first single was announced, I was so excited because she was starting a new era of music and I had no idea that this album would have so much impact on my life today. It made me realize that I am able to grow with my music tastes and that’s what she did when she made this album. One of her references for this album is Stripped by Christina Aguilera. The artwork and the titles of both the albums song are similar and Stripped is one of Selena’s favorite albums ever. So, when I heard it for the first time, I could hear the similarities, but it was still Selena at the end of the day. Also, this album was her first album since the song The Heart Wants What It Wants. That song was her side of what happened with her and Justin Bieber. It was part of the ups and won they had endured so far in their relationship. But there are songs on this album that are about him. In the review, I will be talking about the target exclusive version of the album which has all the songs on the album. But this album was a revival for me to show I was ready for new music.
1. Revival- This song was the introduction to the album, and it is a very self-retrospective song about where she was at that moment in her life. The song has an intro that says “I dive into the future, but I am blinded by the sun. I am reborn in every moment, so who knows what I will become.” The song is basically about her telling people she is having her revival and she has learned some things, so she is ready to take on the world being a new version of herself and she is very happy and confident. This song is an electropop song and it isn’t up-tempo, but it is a song that gets you listening to what she has been through, but it has an earworm of a beat. Plus, her vocals on this song is so euphoric.
2. Kill Em With Kindness- This song is the 4th and final single from the album and it ended the Revival era. The song is an up-tempo song, and it really gets you moving. It is classified as dance and that is definitely what the song gets you to do. The message behind kill them with kindness is a message that a lot of people need to hear. She said it best that “it is so much easier and maybe more fun to be mean and nasty but knowing you woke up and you gave people your best when they were throwing you their worst, that is a better feeling.” I totally stand by that. Sometimes you should just think before you get nasty. It will give you so much confidence at the end of the day. The video for this song is in black and white and it’s a fashion photoshoot with dancers near the end of the video. It is visually stunning, and you get to see Selena be this model for the video. Very pretty song and video.
3. Hands To Myself- This song is the 3rd single from the album. The song starts out midtempo, but it picks up as the song nears the end. The song is about basically having someone that you just want to be with all the time and you just can’t keep your hands to yourself. There is a part of the song that is very tongue and check where she says, “I mean I could but why would I want to?” That part is so cute, and I love hearing Selena sing it. I love this song as a whole. It has rhythm and a good beat, and I just love the message of not being shy of a lover and they are just so sexy and you want to have all of that to yourself. The video for this song is basically a girl stalking a guy and going through all these rooms and imagining being with him all over his house. Then she gets caught at the end for breaking and entering his house when he wasn’t home. But the weird part of all of it is at the end, it is a movie the girl and the guy she was chasing after are watching. It was kind of trippy at the end but very well shot. Selena starred in the video with an actor named Christopher Mason who was in a Demi Lovato music video years ago. And Selena and Demi are friends, so I thought that was cool. But great song and video.
4. Same Old Love- This song is the 2nd single from the album. The song is synth-pop and electro pop driven. The song itself has a beat and a synthesizer throughout the song and it doesn’t get too much different than that. The song is about saying she is tired of the same love she was getting from her lover at the time, and she wants to move on from it. It has an angst feel and it definitely is a song that gets you through a breakup in many ways. The song to me is good but not great. When it was released, it was a different sound for her, but she loves that song. I don’t mind hearing the song when I am listening to the album but it isn’t my favorite song. But when I hear it, I will sing along to it. The video for this song was a bit story driven with a surprise at the end of the video. The video starts out with her getting into a car and she was going to an event but on the way, she saw a lot of emotions played out with people in different cars. The she tells the driver to stop so she can go to a club and see different people and then she walks down the street like no one knows who she is and then she heads to the surprise event. The surprise was she had her fans in the video while she sang the song live for them. I thought it was a cool way to incorporate her fans and make them apart of the music process and be closer to her. But good song.
5. Sober- This song has a voice sample at the beginning and end of the song that is chopped and screwed which means they took the vocal and messed with it and made it sound like something totally different. This song is about being with someone and that relationship ending because they don’t know how to love her sober. It is a song that is not super up-tempo, but it is a very infectious song. I love this song so much. It is an underrated song on the album, but I completely relate to it so much. Plus, the song has a lot of different moving parts, but it makes the perfect song. When I first heard this song, I immediately loved it and I still love it to this day. This song got me through a couple of bad relationships, but it is very pretty, but the emotion is very hard to fake. That is another reason I like the song so much. I wish this song got a visual, but she put the song in her setlist for the Revival tour and her vocals on this song are amazing. If you have ever dated someone that loved being high or drunk and it screwed up your relationship, this song is for you.
6. Good For You feat. A$AP Rocky- This song is the 1st single from the album. It was the first song since her single The Heart Wants What It Wants from her greatest hits album. When I first heard the song, I wasn’t that thrilled about it. I thought it was a different sound for what she is known for but as an artist you have to grow and show you are not a teen idol anymore. This was her first step into that roll. Now I think the song is very sexy and sultry and just got that vibe of being sexy for your lover. I think the song is also for showing confidence in being a woman and how she is proud of where she is at in her life and career. The video for this song is also very sexual but very happy. There are 2 versions of the video. The first version that was released was without the rapper and it just shows Selena in different settings and being a woman and not caring about what anyone says. The second version had the rapper in it with glimpses of him when he did his verse and throughout the video. I thought it was well shot and very pretty for someone trying to say look at me now. I am becoming a woman and I want everyone to know it. But very grown up.
7. Camouflage- This song is the only ballad on the record. It is just Selena and a piano. She wanted to have this song on the record because she wanted to show that she is vulnerable, and she can show her raw emotions. Plus, as a singer, you need to show the low moments in your life and have people relate that sometimes the low moments make you appreciate the high moments. This song is about feeling like she is trying to talk to the person she loves but the person is not hearing her, and she feels invisible and she feels like the person who is ignoring her is also a shade of camouflage. It is one of her more rawest songs and it shows in her voice. I love this song so much.
8. Me & The Rhythm- This is the first and only promotional song for the album before it came out. The song is a fairly midtempo song and it is very infectious, and it gets you moving. The song is about realizing that all she needs is the music and the rhythm and just enjoying her time on the dance floor. This song is not that great to me. It definitely gets stuck in your head. But this song will be good for the club or a party at a friend’s house.
9. Survivors- This song is about basically surviving and trying to live your life and make sure that you have people on your side to get through the pain so that when you reach the end of your journey, it will be not all for nothing. I love this song so much. The way the song eases into the song and then becomes this pop electro beat and it gets you to listen to the lyrics and makes you know that you are not alone. I feel like we are all surviving every day in some way shape or form and we just want help to get through that and it is easier to have a friend with you for that pain. I remember when I first heard this song, I immediately connected to the song and its message and when she would perform this song live, it is an event. I never saw her live, but I have seen videos of this song performed and it is so beautiful, and I just want to reach my hand out to her and grab it and hold it and sing this song to each other. Very pretty song and I wish it had a video.
10. Body Heat- This song is about wanting someone to be on your body and to be together because the heat is so intoxicating that you can’t get enough of it. This song was made in Mexico when she made the title track of the album and she wanted to infuse the Spanish culture into her music, and she loves showing that she is Latina and she love to show that part of her life in her music. In some way shape or form she has put that part of herself into her music and she is proud of where she came from. This song so up-tempo but not in the same way you would think. It is different. It seems like it calls back to her older stuff but in the best way. Plus, I love the message of just thinking someone is so sexy that you want all of that all over your body. It is definitely a song to get you moving but to also get you in the mood. Perfect song for that moment.
11. Rise- This song is a song to all her haters basically and saying you can rise up and move on from the hate and the negativity and you can shine brighter than the sun. The lyrics are used in a metaphor where she says, “like the air you can rise.” I love that message and I will always in some way try to show that I am the bigger person and not stoop down to their level. The song is very Caribbean, and it has that beach feel, but it is a song to vibe to and you can just sing the lyrics and just know you are better than these people who are trying to bring you down. Selena said she needed to make this song so she can move on and make herself okay at the end of the day and be happy with the choices and words she has made and said. I think this song is very inspirational and I just love the message, but the song is a little too slow for me but a good message.
12. Me & My Girls- This song is the 1st of the deluxe edition. It is about hanging out with your girlfriends and or guy friends and just enjoy each other’s company and know that they have your back. Plus, it also talks about that she doesn’t need a man. Plus, she didn’t go to a club for a man. She wanted to enjoy her time with her friends and just being happy and single and just saying to the guy that she is good without him. This song is in my top 5 favorite Selena songs. The beat of the song is so repetitive and the horns in the chorus are so addictive and she knows how to make a good dance song and to let go of all her insecurities and just be her. She performed this song live at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and I loved it so much. She did perform it on tour, and she looked flawless while doing it. I remember hearing the song and it became an instant hit and I just see myself in 10 years still jamming out to this song. Very catchy and fun. I love it so much.
13. Nobody- This song is the 2nd deluxe track. It is slower than the last one, but it is so pretty. It has this backwards rimshot sound and it plays throughout the whole song. The song is about having someone that knows you inside and out and they can love you and nobody else can. This song is so pretty, and I understand how that feels. Sometimes you have that one person that can only do what everyone else cannot do. I will say that it is a very heavy song if you don’t have that special someone but if you do, it makes you appreciate it more. Plus she hums near the end of the song that sounds so beautifully sung and I wish I could make my voice do what she did. She sang this song live also and it was just her in a gorgeous gown and she sings and gives amazing vocals. I wish I was able to see this live. I remember that it took me a minute to like this song but once I listened to it more, I became so in love with the song, I always listen to it when I hear the album. This song gets you in your feelings and makes you just think. I love when songs do that for you.
14. Perfect- This song is the 3rd on the deluxe version. This song has a harp throughout the song, and it makes the song so much better. It has a little R&B influences but overall a great pop song. The song’s message is about being so obsessed with your boyfriend and hoping that you can change to be like the girl he is dating after her. It is a very beautifully sung song. I also remember it took me a little while to like this song, but I love it so much. Her vocal range is so all over the place but in a good way. This song made me think of another song called Girl Crush by Little Big Town and the message of that song is almost word for word interpretation of the same thing. Sometimes girls want to change themselves for guys so they will stay with them and the guy gets to have his perfect girl. But in this song, she realizes that the girl is also perfect. She doesn’t care that she wants to be like him. She just wants to be with him as long as she can, and she will do anything to keep it that way. Very well-done song.
15. Outta My Hands (Loco)- This is the first target exclusive track. It is about knowing someone is so bad for you, but the temptation is so good that you just can’t control it anymore. So, it is out of your hands and you just go back to the one that hurts you because sometimes it feels so good. It has a guitar throughout the song, and it is so infectious like the feeling you get for that someone that you cannot get out of your head. I did not get introduced to this song until a couple years after it was out. I didn’t know that the album had a target exclusive and I wish I had gotten it when it came out. I do love the song so much. It definitely will get stuck in your head and you will catch yourself singing loco because she says it so much that you cannot unhear it. But very catchy and fun song for the summer. Plus, the message is so relatable for you to keep going back to the bad boy or girl and just never want to leave even though there are people and are red flags that say otherwise. But I am loco for this song.
16. Cologne- This is the final target exclusive track. It is a bit slower, but it is a midtempo song. The song is about missing that special someone and all you need to do is to wear their cologne and just hope they come back soon. The song is so amazingly sung, and she knows how to really get you to be in your feelings and just make you feel emotional. I was also not introduced to this song until later down the line. But when I first heard it, I feel in love with it and I know how that feeling is because of the fact that when you miss people you love, it is hard to not think about them so, you find a way to feel like they are there with you and you can just enjoy a materialized thing to make it seem enough to hold you over until they get back, if they ever do. Very pretty and just makes you want to sit in your room with earphones and just listen and be alone but miss the person that made you feel the way you do.
Cover Art- There are 2 different cover arts for the album. The standard and the deluxe. The target exclusive is the same cover as the deluxe. The standard is Selena in a red dress with large sequins and the glass is shattered in the right corner of the picture. On the back of the standard version. She is in a black leotard and a red jacket. This version is more of a fashion statement. On the deluxe and target version, she is topless with underwear on covering her boobs and it looks like she is completely naked, but she isn’t. This version is very raw and vulnerable and just all around showing that you can have flaws and it is ok. I love this cover art for the record and it just shows strength and confidence.
Overall Rating- I would give this album a 5 out of 5. I love every song in some way or another and as a body of work, it shows her growth as an artist and as a human. She shows that you can be strong and vulnerable at the same time. I remember when I got the album, I was so excited, and it took me a little while to like the album but I love this record so much. I can’t wait to hear it in the future and see how this whole era affects me then.