If Revival was an album of resilience, then Rare is an album of freedom.
Because Selena Gomez is free, baby! Free of toxic relationships. Free of self-doubt. Free of all that negativity. And nothing is going to get her down.
Selena’s new album Rare is a psychedelic mix of carefree dance songs. The album is essentially an ode to her self with a tracklist stacked with songs of self-love. Selena has finally realized her self-worth and she’s never going back.
This is never more evident than in her title track where she sings,
“Why don’t you recognize I’m so rare?”
“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”
But lyrics like these are sprinkled throughout nearly every song. She starts off “Ring” by proclaiming,
“I’m one in a billion, baby, don’t you agree?”
Selena is also ready to cut out all the toxic people from her life (ahem, Justin Bieber), a stark contrast to Revival, where she struggled to officially walk away (“Sober” and “Camouflage”)
But the new Sel is done with all of that. She’s run out of patience for the people who don’t treat her well, who don’t deserve her time or attention, and who don’t serve a purpose in her life anymore (“Cut You Off” and “Kinda Crazy”).
She even dedicates the songs “Dance Again” to her newfound feeling of weightlessness and proclaims,
“It’s like I’m ten feet tall / I’m high off the weight of them shoulders”
Not only that, but she’s done with self-doubt, something Selena has struggled with her whole life. She recently told WSJ Magazine,
“I had low self-esteem, and that’s something I work on continuously.”
This is best reflected in her song “Let Me Get Me,” where she sings,
“No self-sabotage, no letting my thoughts run / Me and the spiral are done”
Selena Gomez has certainly come a long way since her Stars Dance (2013) days. Although filled with catchy hits, it never quite captured the vulnerability and emotion that Revival and Rare do.
Two years after Stars Dance dropped, Selena returned with Revival (2015), which was a huge leap emotionally. It gave us songs of strength and recovery. But while it was clear that Selena had both matured and grown musically, it was nothing compared to what she delivers in Rare.
Because in Rare, she gives us confidence. She gives us themes of self-worth and freedom. As Selena puts it, she’s cut off 1,460 days-worth of extra weight and she’s finally feeling like her self again.
Selena has been through quite a lot in the five years since Revival and Rare reflects that.
Since 2015, Sel has struggled with lupus and even had a kidney transplant, she’s been in and out of recovery for depression and anxiety, and she finally ended things with ex Justin Bieber for good. She’s grown as a person and as a woman.
It takes quite a bit of emotional growth and self-awareness to put out this kind of album (sounds like the therapy’s working!) and if it took five years for Selena to get to this place in her life, then it was well worth the wait.
Perhaps the only disappointment from Rare is the sometimes repetitive, monotone rhythms that accompany the lyrics. But overall, Rare gives Selena a chance to shine and she’s never seemed happier. Who could ask for more?
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.