Review: Selena Gomez releases new album, ‘Revival’

The familiar face of Selena Gomez has been gracing our TV screens, her voice dominating our radios, and living in our phone’s music library for years. A double threat for many, and a triple threat for some. Despite this, I tend to have low expectations for Gomez’s albums.

Unfortunately, Revival didn’t break the trend.

Typically when Gomez drops an album, the singles do well, the album does alright, and the tour is… the tour. 

In 2013, Stars Dance became a highly anticipated solo album for Gomez, despite the controversy that surrounded the widely played single “Come & Get It.” After a few movies, and a random “Greatest Hits” album entitled For You, and a sort of good single, Gomez took a slight break after personal relationships were drowning her accomplishments.

Breaking into a new sultry sound, Revival desperately tries to send Gomez to the top with a more personal edge to the lyrics. As much as I wanted to love this album, only a few songs were worth more than the required listening, and the album as a whole failed to meet any expectations I may have had for it.

From the very first track it’s clear that the album had high hopes for itself, with Gomez introducing the album-titled track, “Revival,” with the spoken words: “I dive into the future, but I’m blinded by the sun / I’m reborn in every moment / So who knows what I’ll become.” The track continues with the promise of: “More than just survival, this is a revival.”

One of the tracks that has the most potential for constant musical consumption includes “Survivors.”  In a twitter interview, Gomez stated: “It’s an anthem. I think in general we’re just surviving in our everyday circumstances. It’s my message that we need to bring each other up instead of tearing each other down.”

With the lyrics: “We are survivors of the wild,” and the upbeat tick of the chorus, it’s clear that the song will become a viral hit within the world of social media, and used in a commercial or two.

“Rise,” will be a song that’s looked over despite its high quality of producing. The song showcases Gomez on a level that many will falter over, and it’s the strongest product of art she’s ever put into the world under her name. The chorus stumbles over the echoed lyrics: “Yes, I know there are those who will wanna bring you down / But you can rise with your mind and make your higher power proud.”

As for being a single, the only track I believe has a chance of exceeding “Good For You” featuring A$AP Rocky, for radio play is “Same Old Love,” which showcases a new set of vocals on Gomez and is already topping charts.

Although Revival is her strongest vocally to date, a few of the tracks seem to have added mixing vocals that have edited Gomez’s voice to a stronger register. It defeats the purpose of progression in her voice, but I suppose a few albums later and the progression can cease to exist.

As a whole, most of the tracks are forgettable as soon as you finish listening to them. There is no structure to the set of songs, and the album falls short despite the few hidden gems scattered throughout.

I will weep the day Gomez releases an album that is sinfully good. Until that day, I will listen to my “The Only Good Selena Gomez Songs” playlist and ache for what could’ve been.





Brooke Pawling Stennett is a college student pursuing a degree in Multimedia Journalism and Creative Non-Fiction in the old Windy City. She tends to lean toward the obsessive side of the tracks when it comes to books and music. She's an avid concert attendee (or at least she tries to!) and rambler. She'd like to travel the world and write about it, but in the only ways she knows how: sarcastically and full of internet jargon. Her opinions are her best ones, especially if they involve boy-bands and Netflix. . .even though she doesn't even have her own account. You can tweet her at @br_stennett and tell her how ridiculous (and totally great!) her opinions are.