Selena Gomez – A Blank CanvasCopyright for images: Interscope/iTunes
When someone says the name Selena Gomez, what do you think of? If you are of a certain age, perhaps Wizards of Waverly Place comes to mind. Maybe if you are a Belieber or Weeknder, then Justin’s old flame and Abel’s new (and all to soon romance) will jog the memory. Forget all that, because everything is about to change; Selena Gomez is taking over pop.
Yes her voice is bland. Yes she spent way to long being a member of the Taylor Swift sorority, but all of this plays into Selena’s hands (and we know she can’t keep those to herself). Although being part of the Tay-Tay sorority means that you need to do Taylor’s nails and tell her that she is the fairest of them all, it does have some perks. One of them is meeting the master producer, and all-round Swede, Max Martin.
Having produced Britney, Katy and Taylor to success, Max turned his attention to Gomez. This collaboration led to the 2016 album, Revival; a diverse and production heavy collection of songs that you would swear were sung by different artists if you didn’t know better. Experimentation is key, with 16 songs bursting with creativity, all with a different sounding Selena at the centre. Her voice is the blank canvas, and Martin and friends paint all over it.
I love pop, but as is its nature, it’s homogenised. Very quickly, a cliché arises, with the biggest at the moment being the synth heavy interlude after every chorus. Selena doesn’t shy away from this, and in her song, Kill them with Kindness she utilises the aforementioned interlude, but with a twist. Instead of synths, there’s whistling. That’s right, just a man whistling a tune. In Selena’s song, It Ain’t Me, instead of the clichéd chorus, Selena sings the verse in broken words, just a syllable at a time. Finally, in “Hands to Myself”, after singing the chorus, Selena cheekily states, “I mean I could, but why would I want to”.
This may not seem revolutionary, or even a recipe for success, but the experimentation will allow her to appeal to various demographics, whilst her variety will stop her brand becoming stale. With a fan base built up through her Disney brand, with an A list beef ready with Bieber and Bella Hadid, and with Max Martin behind her, she is destined for success. Move over Tay Tay, you’re not the fairest anymore.