Selena Gomez’s ‘For You’: Album Review

Selena Gomez winds up her seven-year stint with Hollywood Records by releasing career-encompassing greatest hits compilation For You. It marks the end of an era, which has seen the 22-year-old evolve from baby-faced teen pop/rocker (whatever happened to The Scene?) to the sophisticated starlet we saw steal the show at last night’s (November 23) American Music Awards. The 15-song set is a little heavy on nostalgia and unnecessarily long — the extras are kind of bogus — but it’s a potent reminder that beneath the celebrity and ‘it’ girl status is a very good pop star.

The obvious selling point of For You is current single “The Heart Wants What It Wants”, which is presently sitting at number two on iTunes. The Rock Mafia-produced gem shows the former teen queen in an entirely new light. There’s a vulnerability we haven’t seen before as Selena sings about the dark-side of her very own fairytale with palpable honesty and conviction. If this is any indication of the direction she plans to take at Interscope, expect many more hits and headlines.

Another Rock Mafia production, “Do It” couldn’t be further removed from “The Heart Wants What It Wants”. It’s a heavily-autotuned bop with sexy lyrics — in comparison to the diva’s earlier work — about getting lucky. The song finds Selena on autopilot but it’s catchy enough. As for the other new goodies? There’s a regrettable remix of Stars Dance club anthem “Forget Forever” but When The Sun Goes Down gem “My Dilemma” gets a well-executed overhaul. I also love the Spanish version of “More”.

That leaves us with the hits. “Falling Down” and “Who Says” are near-perfect pop songs, as are “A Year Without Rain” and “Naturally” — at least, in their non-remixed form. Another Cinderella Story theme song “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” is still as cute as a button and the impact of “Love You Like A Love Song” lives on. (The title track of Lady Gaga‘s ARTPOP pays tribute, for example). Then there’s the flawless Stars Dance era. “Come & Get It” and “Slow Down” are literally perfect.

If you’ve slept on Selena’s music career, For You is a great starting point. For fans, it offers just enough new material to justify the purchase. I’m still mad about the omission of “Hit The Lights” but that’s easily remedied with iTunes.

Possible Future Singles: None. “The Heart Wants What It Wants” is the perfect way to close the first chapter of Selena’s career.

Best Listened To: After watching repeats of Wizards Of Waverly Place.

Idolator Score: 3.5/5

Mike Wass

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