Britney Spears’ new album In The Zone New kween of pop Slaylena Goddessmez’s albumStars Dance was released today and has mostly slayed my life into a million pieces minus a few filler tracks.
To be fair, I have never liked Selena Gomez. I always thought her fake band “The Scene” was an extremely pretentious marketing scheme, (granted I love good marketing, but that was going too far). Her music has always come across like thrown away trash from more A-list pop stars. I detested Love You Like A Love Song, Naturally, Who Says, and countless other duds during her “band” years. Now that she is ~solo~ *cough cough* I have decided this is a totally fresh start.
Singles Come & Get It and Slow Down are two flawlessly crafted tracks, and both are perfect single choices. Come & Get It in particular is a prime example of a sub-genre of pop I lovingly refer to as “ethno-pop”. Ethno-pop typically consists of sleek, Western style pop music mixed with some sort of Eastern or ethnic flare as it’s main selling point. This flawless exploitative sub-genre of pop has been a prominent genre all over Europe for nearly a decade, (during the mid 2000′s a string of ethno-pop tracks won the Eurovision Song Contest in a row for a while). Notable examples throughout history of this life-changing sub-genre are such musical masterpieces as Shakira’s Whenever Wherever,Amuro Namie’sWant Me Want Me, Jennifer Lopez’s On The Floor, Helena Paparizou’s My Number 1, and countless early 2000′s Enrique Iglesias songs. This blend always works and Selena milks the Bollywood scene for every cent it’s worth with C&GI.
Tracks like the instantly brilliant Birthday, the Rihanna-esque Like A Champion (which has Selena putting on a Saturdays-like faux Jamaican accent), the J.Lo-like Save The Day, and the Dev knock off B.E.A.T are all instantly infectious. Party jam’s like Undercover andNobody Does It Like Youare both tracks Cheryl Cole or Iconey Spears would kill for. These are all single worthy pop gems where Slaylena proves herself a pop powerhouse. Selena seems to be at her best when sampling other artists sounds.
Elsewhere, tracks like title track Stars Dance, the bland dance song Forget Forever, and filler tracks like the lone ballad on the album, Love Will Remember, are all pretty mediocre. For LWR in particular, the chorus never quite builds to the peak an emotional ballad should build to. (This is not even an reflection on Selena’s limited vocal range as Britney Spears has many ballads which build to a flawless peak.)
From the glorious album cover, to the mix of euro-pop and ethno-pop, to the (well chosen) lack of balladry, this era is pretty strong for Marylena Full of Gracemez. While the album is not perfect, it seems like she is finally shifting from being ‘that other one who isn’t Demi or Miley’, to being a certified pop star. The production for the most part is spot on, and promoted correctly this era could be major for her. Hopefully one day Selena can produce an album as great or better than this one without needing to take from other artists style.