Selena Gomez has returned. The 27-year-old singer dropped her highly anticipated new album Rare on Friday, Jan. 10, and she delivers on her promise that the new music would be a vulnerable look at her feelings over the last four years. (She released her last solo album, Revival, in 2015.)
The star's album consists of 13 songs, two of which—"Lose You To Love Me" and "Look At Her Now"—were released back-to-back in the fall of 2019. Throughout the album, the singer sings about confidence, self-awareness, honesty, mental health, vulnerability and self-love, and her previously released singles aren't the only ones that appear to be about her ex Justin Bieber.
She starts the album off with the title track "Rare." In an interview with Spotify, the songstress revealed the inspiration behind the title.
"I just felt like that was me if that makes sense," Gomez said. "Obviously, I've had a lot of self esteem issues in the past. I still struggle with confidence and you know, it's going to be something that I'm always working on. Rare made me feel incredible. That name was so important to me the moment I heard it."
January 10 was a big day for Selena Gomez. After counting down on her Instagram, the singer finally reached the day that her new album, Rare was released to the public. The album has brought with it discussion of Gomez's on-off relationship with Justin Bieber.
Gomez, who surely expected there to be lots of chatter about her album and what the lyrics on it mean, seemed to live in her own bliss yesterday. She posted lots of images showing her celebrating her new LP. On Twitter, fans posted photos of the singer blowing out candles on a cake with a photo of her decorating it, as well as cupcakes that appear to read, in red icing, "You are so rare!" Check out the balloons, too. Gomez's team is really having fun with that word.
The Selena Gomez HQ page also posted a video from Gomez's Instagram story of Gomez making a journey to target to buy her own album, only to find that it was old out (or so she assumed).
1. "Rare": Gomez opens up her album with the title track. In it, she's basically saying to a lover, "Boy, don't you know how good you have it with me?" It's a reminder to herself (and all women) that being with them is a gift.
The first words she sings on the album are, "Baby / You've been so distant from me lately / And lately / Don't even wanna call you baby."
Then she laments about the future she saw them having together. "Saw us gettin' older (Older) / Burnin' toast in the toaster," she sings. "My ambitions were too high / Waiting up for you upstairs (Upstairs) / Why you act like I'm not there? / Baby, right now it feels like."
In the chorus, she asks the big question. "It feels like you don't care / Why don't you recognize I'm so rare? / Always there / You don't do the same for me, that's not fair / I don't have it all / I'm not claiming to / But I know that I'm special (So special), yeah / And I'll bet there's somebody else out there / To tell me I'm rare / To make me feel rare."
2. "Dance Again": In this song, the breakup is done, she's done her crying and now it's time to have some fun. It's all about picking yourself up and going back out into the world unapologetically post-breakup, knowing you'll probably be hurt again, but feeling so damn good now that your ex is gone that you don't care. It's also about feeling confident post-breakup knowing that you were honest and open and vulnerable with your lover.
As Gomez sings, "Happiness ain't something you sit back and wait for / Confidence is throwing your heart through every brick wall."
In the second verse, she praises her vulnerability. As she declares, "Vulnerable ain't easy / Believe me / But I go there / It's like I'm 10 feet tall / I'm high off the weight off my shoulders."
In the chorus, she's feeling good. "I kick-start the rhythm / All the trauma's in remission / No I don't need permission," she sings. "Feels so, feels so, feels so good to dance again / Feels so, feels so, feels so good to dance again / With my emotions undressed I'm going in / With everything / To dance again / Feels so, feels so, feels
3. "Look At Her Now": If "Dance Again" is the pregame, "Look At Her Now" is the party. As she sings, "At first she was sad, but now she's glad she dodged a bullet."
4. "Lose You To Love Me": The first song released from the album (and Gomez's first No. 1 hit), this song is about the self-awareness that comes from being on the other side of a breakup. You've processed everything and can take an objective look back at everything you learned. It's widely believed to be about Bieber, as she sings about quickly being replaced by Hailey Bieber after their brief reconciliation in 2018.
"I gave my all and they all know it / You tore me down and now it's showing," Gomez sings. "In two months you replaced us / Like it was easy / Made me think I deserved it / In the thick of healing."
5. "Ring": This song is all about, well, feeling hot. It's an unshakable confidence, "I'm hot and everyone wants me" kind of vibe. A mood.
"You all in your feelings, baby, all into me," she sings. "I'm one in a billion, baby, don't you agree?"
As she continues, "Obviously, you know, I'm aware of that / I'm breakin' hearts like a heart attack / Got him right where the carat's at."
6. "Vulnerable": This appears to be about The Biebs. It sounds as if this song represents Gomez's inner dialogue about getting back with the "Sorry" singer. She's basically asking herself, "If we try this again, will it end badly like all the other times?" Ultimately, she decides it's better to try than to wonder what could have been.
As Gomez wonders, "If I show you all my demons / And we dive into the deep end / Would we crash and burn like every time before? / I would tell you all my secrets / Wrap your arms around my weakness / If the only other option's letting go / I'll stay vulnerable."
7. "People You Know": With its placement coming directly after "Vulnerable," it seems as if this song is about her realizing it wasn't the right move to try again with her ex.
"So many wasted (Wasted)," she sings. "Nights with (Nights with) you (You) / I still could taste it (Taste it) / I hate it, wish I could take it back 'cause / We used to be close, but people can go / From people you know to people you don't / And what hurts the most is people can go / From people you know to people you don't."