Selena Gomez’s ‘Rare’ isn‘t one in a million

Selena Gomez’s long-awaited third solo album “Rare” was released on Friday, Jan. 10, four years after her previous album “Revival.” The album celebrates her journey of self love during an emotional-charged time where she faced challenges in both her physical and mental health. Gomez has been sitting on this album for some time now, and as a fan, I am only partially satisfied. 

I have been a fan of Gomez since she was Alex Russo on one of the greatest kids’ shows of all time, “Wizards of Waverly Place.” When she started making music all the way back in the late ’00s, I was in love. To be 10 years old, eating Halloween candy and dancing to “A Year Without Rain” in my living room, let’s just say I peaked. It does not get better than that. 

Gomez dropped her first “grown up” album when I was a sophomore in high school, and I can remember it now — sitting in my journalism classroom and opening the PR box to see the “Revival” poster where she was posing nude? Wow. Since then, I’ve been waiting on the edge of my seat for new music — an EP, a set of singles, really anything — to drop. Four years later, we get “Rare,” and my anticipation was not matched by what I received.

As a disclaimer, I will say that I liked this album. I didn’t hate it, but I expected to love it. I expected it to be my album of the year, already in the second week of January. Maybe it’s my fault for putting so much pressure on Selenerz like that, but it just felt like any other album. It didn’t rock my world, and for that I am bitter. 

Opening with the titular track “Rare,” Gomez starts off her album with an upbeat, slightly sexy, bop to set the mood for the rest of the album. Establishing the themes for this album, “Rare” has its high moments by focusing on self-worth and love. 

One of my favorite songs on this album is the sadder ballad “Lose You to Love Me.” I think anyone who has read any of my previous music reviews is not surprised by this pick, but I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for that emo music. This song reminded me of why I loved Selena all the way back when and really put me in my feels. 

One track I was impressed by was “Ring,” slated fifth in the lineup. This slightly jazzy number is perfect for ’20s round two, and is quite different from anything else I’ve heard in the recent top 100. It still fits in with the rest of the album, but stands out among the rest. When you’ve listened to the same album on repeat for hours, the songs tend to blend together, but every time “Ring” came on, I snapped out of it and paid attention. 

Gomez closes with “A Sweeter Place” featuring Kid Cudi, which is one of the best songs on the album. It has a slightly slower beat and has a really interesting bass and drums combination underlying the main melodies. It’s honestly the perfect way to end this album.

While my socks were not knocked off, “Rare” is still a pretty good album. I may have grown up a little bit, but Selena will always have a special place in my heart. I hope I won’t have to wait another four years for the next set of music.

Rating: 3/5 stars