Selena Gomez: Stars Dance
Format: CD, Streaming, Digital Download
Release Date: July 19th, 2013
Album Number: 4
Intro– Stars Dance is a very mature album for Selena. This album showed how much she wanted to get away from the Disney machine. It shows how much an artist can grow past their younger days and make a statement of where she was as a woman and she wanted to be more herself and not an image of what a company needed her to be. This album also showed what kind of music she wanted to keep making in the future of her career. I will be talking about the standard edition and the bonus tracks from iTunes and Target. Get ready to see the Stars Dance and have a party with this record.
The Album– This is Selena’s 4th album over all but her 1st solo record. When I mean solo, she was in a band called Selena Gomez and The Scene for 4 years and she was on Disney with the band so when she finished her contract, she wanted to make a record to show her growth and her comfortability in her sexuality and her identity. The sound of the record is pop but with EDM/dance beats throughout the whole album. That genre of music was still relevant, and she had just made a movie called Spring Breakers and the soundtrack for the film was dubstep and EDM, so she wanted to make a record like that. And so, Stars Dance was born. I love this album so much. Not everyone will like this album because it does sound like a dance party the whole album, but I love that type of music, so I love to watch the Stars Dance.
1. Birthday- This song wasn’t a single but did receive a music video. It was shot the night before her actual birthday. It is just a giant party and all of her partygoers are singing along to the song and having a fun time. This song reminds me of early music by Gwen Stefani. It has funk and sass and attitude. It isn’t my favorite song on the record, but it is fun. The song is about girl empowerment and owning your sexuality while throwing a rager. Very fun song but like I said it isn’t my favorite song on the record. But a fun way to introduce the album and funny story, the album was released 3 days before her actual birthday so that was cool. But yeah, fun song overall.
2. Slow Down- This song was the 2nd and final single from the album. The song is about slowing down time and enjoying the amazing moment while dancing on the floor in the club. The video for this song is very cool. The video was shot in Paris and it is just beautiful. The first shot is Selena in an old Mercedes and singing the song and then in the club and then in the streets of Paris and it is very well shot. It is simple but very fun. The song is dance-pop driven. I love this song so much and she even shout out’s the producer in the song, The Cataracs, which was so cool. And when she performed it, I fell in love with the song even more. So glad this song was a single. This song was also her introduction to Julia Michaels which is a frequent collaborator.
3. Stars Dance- The title track was written for her by Rock Mafia. The song is about showing her sensual side and also showing confidence. The song has dubstep influences with pop. It is a bit darker but a lot more mature for her. I like this song a lot and the autotune throughout the song is very prominent but not annoying. The first time I heard this song, I wasn’t a big fan but then I heard the lyrics and I fell in love with the song and it has become a song that I wish I could have seen her perform it live. It is a bit slower, but it has a form of dance in the song. More like she is telling a story with the song through the dance. Selena even said it has a special place in her heart.
4. Like A Champion- This song is a more tropical, beach feel. It has a chant throughout the song that says “Walk like a champion, talk like a champion” which sounds so cool when she sings over top the chant. It sounds like something from Jamaica. Not saying it’s a bad thing but I just get that vibe from the song. The song does sound like something Rihanna could have made. The song talks about self-power and self-confidence. The song was written by Bebe Rexha who is an amazing songwriter and she is would also be a future collaborator. The song has a Caribbean feel but still some dance thrown in. The song took a minute to for me to get used to but now I like it. This isn’t my favorite but still a good song.
5. Come & Get It- This song is the 1st single from the album and to start the Stars Dance era. I could not wait for this song to come out because I knew it was going to be hit. The song is about basically saying like the title says, when your ready come and get it. And it being her and you can guess what she means by that. The video for this song was visually stunning. It shows her in all 4 of the traditional elements which are earth, water, fire and air. She looks pretty and she shows that her hair is longer than usual, but it looks stunning on her. A lot of people were kind of indifferent for this video and song, but I love this song and video so much. The song is pop but has some bhangra elements throughout the song. It is very different for Selena because it is showing off her vocal ability but also showing off her dance moves in the video and live. Very fun song and great way to start off this era.
6. Forget Forever- This song is my favorite off the album, if not my favorite song by her. The song was supposed to be a single but got scrapped when the era ended because of her having to cancel the tour and end the era. But this song is so good. The song has an anathematic sound and it also has a stadium feel. Like she would belt out the song in an arena and the whole crowd would be dancing and singing along. The song is very dance and synthpop driven but it has some EDM influences as does a lot of the songs if not 90% of the record. I remember the first time I heard this song and I fell in love with it immediately and I wanted to sing it on the top of my lungs and just keep going until the song was over. I would have loved to see what the video would have been like. The song is about a breakup and how you never want to think about that person and just forget them forever and just move on from that time of your life. This song also has gotten me through some breakups, and I don’t know what I would have done without it. Very sentimental song and I will always love it. This song also made me love dance/EDM music and that is one of my top musical genres.
7. Save The Day- This song talks about a similar topic she talked about on her last album with The Scene. It talks about finding connection with someone and wanting that night to never end. So, she wants to save the day and put it in her memory to remember so she can go back and think about the fun memories. The song has a Spanish guitar throughout the song which is a call back to her roots because she is partially Hispanic. But this song was the first song she wrote to see what kind of record she wanted to make. I like this song also. It has these little hooks in the chorus and it definitely hooks you into the song. I like how up-tempo the song is and gets you moving.
8. B.E.A.T.- The song doesn’t stand for anything. It is just written like that. The song is about knowing that people are going to always have something to say she wants to just enjoy dancing in the club and just have fun and let all her cares slip away. The way she describes this song is that it has swag. I think that is a perfect way to describe the song. I like how it sounds like 2 different songs, but it flows together so you can’t even tell. I love the bridge when the dance break happens, and it just makes you want to get up and dance your ass off. When she would perform this song, she would just have fun and not think about anything except being in that moment and not have any cares in the world.
9. Write Your Name- The song is about being in love with someone so much that you want to write their name on your heart. The song is very simple but also stadium-like. She said she wanted to do an interpretive dance to the song, but she never got around to doing it. The song is also very dance oriented, but it has a simple message about being so in love with someone that you want to have them wherever you go. She also said this song is like when you were in school and you would doodle and scribble people’s names that you had a crush on or you wanted to be your boyfriend or girlfriend so you would just dream about them and write their name all over your notebook, it is similar to that idea but making it more mature. I love this song a lot.
10. Undercover- This song is my second favorite song on the whole album. The song is about having a little secret with someone you like and just doing things where the public doesn’t see and just having fun. The song has a build-up that makes the beat drop in the chorus seem so much more fun. I love how you can’t tell where the pre-chorus and the chorus are supposed to be separated. It definitely makes you want to dance and just have fun. I wish this song had a video, but I remember when I first heard this song, I instantly fell in love with it. It has something about it that makes you want to dance and just have the time of your life.
11. Love Will Remember- This song is about regretting a breakup with her lover and she knows that the love they had was great, but love will remember and be embedded in their memories. The song seems a bit slower, but it still has some tempo to it. More mid-tempo but still something you can dance to. The song has such deep meaning for my personal life. It has gotten me through some deep stuff with breakups and makes me remember I’m human and I have emotions and I’m allowed to feel sad about my past mistakes, but I am happy with where I am at. I hope people can see that and just keep moving on with their life. A perfect way to end the album on the standard edition.
12. Nobody Does It Like You- This song is about loving a guy because they know how to love you even though they are a bad guy at the core of who they are. The song samples a song called Hello by Martin Solveig feat Dragonette. The song also has an EDM feel with a dubstep chorus and it makes you want to dance. Very fun song to blast in your car and her vocals on this song are so well done.
13. Music Feels Better- This song is similar to the last one. She feels like when she hears the music with her lover, the music sounds and feels better than alone. The song is very simplistic, but the beat and her vocals are amazing in this song. The song is speculated about Justin Bieber. Which most of this record is supposedly about him. But fun song and I can see her having fun while singing this song. And the 4 bonus/deluxe tracks are written by her. She doesn’t write anything else but these tracks.
14. Lover In Me- This song is similar to Undercover but it gets more in detail of what they can do without the public knowing about it. She goes into detail about how she wants him in the dark and how the lover in herself comes out and the same lover that is in her is also in him and she wants him to take control and just be her and him. The song is also a fun song and it has this guitar riff that plays throughout the song, but it is catchy. Very fun song and love the similar themes for undercover.
15. I Like It That Way- This song is about having someone that is not anything you want but you like having it that way anyways because you are just used to it. Plus, it uses the idea of hot and cold but not like the Katy Perry song. But more in the sense that you think you’re hot and you think you’re cool, but Selena is being sarcastic and is hooked on his love anyways. She loves the guy fully, but she loves to be sarcastic with the guy because he is so cocky and self-absorbed. The song’s buildup is also very well sung, and it makes you think a rocket is about to blast off and just go nuts. I love how this song ends the deluxe tracks.
Cover Art- The artwork is very sensual but very mature for her image. The cover art shows her in a headdress, and it is in black and white with a little purple. It is very feminine and shows off these amazing outfits and shows she is growing into womanhood and fashion is also part of her aesthetic. I love this photoshoot cause one of one of my favorite pictures of her was made in the booklet. I am obsessed with this look of hers and I wish she had kept it going. It reminds me of her being a gypsy or a fairy.
Overall Rating– 5 out of 5. My favorite Selena Gomez album to date. I love this album up and down. I can talk about this album for hours. It changed me and made me a Selena fan and I have loved anything she has put out since then. Not a lot of people would like this record, but I love this record so much. It is more club oriented, but it has some sweetness to it and yes I know she was young when she made it but she was happy and she needed to make an album to get her through that period.