Sometimes you put an album on and instantly feel it was exactly what you needed to hear following some traumatic experiences.
That’s what Rare started out as for me. Like a private message or a text from a close friend about what you went through, what you feel, and how to get past it, this album was the healing soundtrack I needed to press play on.
Like even the week it was released January 10, 2020 was so timely, and divinely gifted to me when I didn’t know how to feel about the first week of the year which was jam packed with chaos and a cacophony of bullshit.
Channeling Paula Abdul for the 21st century, Gomez’s third studio album quickly charted the Billboard 200 at #1.
It’s a midtempo pop and dance album with influences from electronic, latin pop, and R& B. Lyrically, it’s themes are self-love, acceptance, and empowerment.
Click the above graphic to listen to the album while reading this review.
Rare: Gomez’s favorite song off this new album with a sound of compromised backing vocals and muffled instruments as if the whole thing has been dunked underwater. The song is a self-empowerment anthem about independence and self-love.
Dance Again: Blended genres of funk, dance, electro, and electropop. It’s lowkey yet infectious musically. It’s main message is acceptance.
I kickstart the rhythm. All the trauma’s in remission. No, I don’t need permission.
Look at Her Now: Reviewed in a previous post but this is an upbeat song about becoming stronger person after a turbulent relationship. Acknowledging that you mess up and you go through stuff but you always come out of it just feeling like a boss.
Lose You to Love Me: The only ballad on this album. It has bare bones production, plucked violins, booming bass, tearjerker piano, an orchestra, and multi-layered vocals from Gomez. It was produced and co-written with Billie Eillish’s partner in crime Finneas. The melancholy lyrics talk about her split from ex, Justin Bieber.
Ring: The latin-influenced track has musicality that is likened to Goyte’s Somebody I Used to Know and Santana’s Smooth. It’s about expecting the best & realizing you deserve the best.
Vulnerable: My favorite song off the album because of it’s unbreakable huge heart type love themes and so many beautiful lyrics. A warm disco and electropop record with a moody synth groove and elements of italo disco and tropical house.
People You Know: Electropop musicality contrast this melancholy song about the pain of come and go people friends, lovers, and acquaintances.
Let Me Get Me: Influences of Latin music on the upbeat and dance-floor ready song about lyrically coming out of body and detaching herself from the thoughts in her head, and she doesn’t want the joy she feels to be shot down.
Crowded Room: R&B song about the instant connection you have with someone across a crowded room.
Kinda Crazy: Tongue in cheek tune and sinuous kiss-off driven by a clean bluesy guitar lick and accompanying horns, about a lover who mixed his signals and changed his tune.
Fun: Playful and catchy co-written with Julia Michaels about a casual relationship with someone not good for her
Cut You Off: A slinky downtempo pop song with influences of funk and a slam jam about moving on from a relationship and the empowerment you feel.
How could I confuse that shit for love?
A Sweeter Place: An R&B collaboration with Kid Cudi about finding a place free of worry and brighter days are ahead.
Gomez hits it out of the park with this treasure of a musical masterpiece. It proves she’s a strong artist, strong human, and yes in fact, very rare in today’s musical scope.