Filled with candy-coated beats and themes that would pair flawlessly with any properly chaperoned teenage slip 'n slide party, Selena Gomez’s debut album Stars Dance presents an ear-lure that is easy to fall victim to.
Unfortunately for her sake, the best moments on the album don't come from the 20-year-old mini diva herself. Gomez earns a whopping zero credits on writing and production throughout the 11-track release, and critics were quick to call her out on it.
“Selena Gomez has gone into a studio and recorded her new album “Stars Dance,” which consists of 11 pop songs she didn’t pen herself backed by instruments she isn’t playing. It might be fun for the causal young summertime listener. But it begs the important question: Why bother?” – The Washington Post
“Of all her Disney-generation peers, though, she’s been the least convincing musician.” – The New York Times
That’s not to say no one liked it. Perhaps a desperate attempt to fill the void that Britney Spears’ career left prematurely unsealed) Billboard had to gush over Selener’s effort, giving her a gold star via an impressive 78 out of 100 rating.
“…11 shinily produced pop songs that find Gomez trying on a series of different personalities with her slight-yet-capable vocals.” – Billboard
Sure, a lot of the tracks feel like the efforts of meticulous producers (e.g. “Slow Down” - The Cataracs and “B.E.A.T.” - Wexler) whose homework Gomez is copying off of. But as long as the output’s good, who cares if the teacher’s looking, right?
In fact, a lot of the songs are passionately catchy, and the Spring Breakers-inspired direction that Gomez—or whoever—took was at the very least surprising.
If this was a review on Gomez’s effort here, it would much lower. But, because it’s an album rating, we have to give props where props are due.
Stars Dance is available for purchase wherever music is sold and is currently streaming on Spotify.