Selena Gomez delivers a “Rare” experience

Mahika Arya, Copy Editor

Selena Gomez dropped her newest album “Rare” on Jan. 10, showcasing the hidden aspects of relationships in a life of fame. With powerful, invoking lyrics, she engages the listener for 40 minutes of bliss.

The Disney star’s first self-recognized album, “Revival,” debuted No. 1 on Billboard 200, with tracks like “Same Old Love” and “Hands to Myself.” The two singles she released for “Rare,” “Lose You to Love Me” and “Look at Her Now,” peaked at No. 1 and in the top 40s in the U.S., respectively.

The album opens with the title track “Rare,” a slow pop about letting go of a distressed relationship, which sets the scene for the rest of the songs. It reminds people to recognize their self-worth, with the chorus asking, “It seems like you don’t care / Why don’t you recognize I’m so rare?”

The second song, “Dance Again,” brings a techno beat to the album, followed by the similar-sounding “Look at Her Now.” The beat of the chorus is difficult to get behind at first, but after a couple listens, it sounds like something straight out of a movie.

One of the best songs on the album, “Lose You to Love Me” describes the process of cutting out toxic people from life. It sounds emotional and raw, as Gomez sings, “I needed to hate you to love me.”

A contrast from the previous song, “Ring” has a strong beat describing the people Gomez has wrapped around her finger: “They’re just like puppets on a string.”

“Vulnerable” emerges with a more sensitive note as Gomez sings about someone playing with her emotions, making her hesitant to express herself. She stays vulnerable as she wonders, “If I show you all my demons, and we dive into the deep end / Would we crash and burn like every time before?”

“People You Know” is a relatable song about drifting apart from people as they slowly change. There’s a solid beat and emotion, and lyrical strength elevates the song to a different level. The play on words is shown with lyrics like, “When it was good, we were on fire / Now, I’m breathin’ ashes and dust.”

“Let Me Get Me” is similar to “Dance Again” in that it describes not letting negativity stop her. It’s not about being free of someone else as the latter is, but rather being free from herself, as she sings “No self-sabotage, no letting my thoughts run / Me and this spiral are done.”

The first collab of “Rare,” “Crowded Room” features 6lack, an American singer and songwriter. It follows two people who, despite a busy crowd, only have eyes for each other. With its calming, slow beat, “Crowded Room” becomes the first song of the album talking about being in a relationship rather than leaving one.

The slow vibes carry on to “Kinda Crazy,” but its slightly more upbeat music sets the two apart. However, the meaning is the exact opposite, describing the breaking point of an untrustworthy relationship.

“Fun” is the most “out-there” song on the album as Gomez sings about entering an informal relationship; she can’t stop herself from being with someone she knows isn’t the one. In the more laid-back song, Gomez says, “I try not to bother, not to bother you / But my kind of trouble likes your trouble too.”

“Cut You Off,” like “Lose You to Love Me,” is about letting go of negative people, but the tone changes so often that it sounds mismatched, moving from rap to basic pop to almost country instrumentals. The song itself is fine, but the lack of structure brings down its quality.

“A Sweeter Place,” the final track of the album, features Kid Cudi. They wish for a place where they can let their worries go away, holding out the hope that there’s some place they can go. Hopeful and upbeat with relaxing vocals, it is a solid end to “Rare.”

“Rare” encompasses the story of building yourself after a broken relationship, a side of Gomez the public doesn’t get a chance to see. With empowering, emotional tracks, this album is truly a rarity.