Lost Hit: Selena Gomez’s “Sober” Should Have Been A Single
In this franchise, we highlight album tracks that should have been released as singles.
The transition from teen idol to adult pop star is one that is often fraught with pitfalls and plenty of second guessing. However, Selena Gomez made it look easy when she dropped Revival in 2015. Of course, the album was the result of a years-long journey to self-actualization. After introducing her music career with a slew of feel-good bops released alongside her band The Scene, she stepped into the spotlight on her own with Stars Dance. But the electro-kissed LP (her first as a legitimate solo star) still offered only a fleeting glimpse at her heart and soul. That changed with “The Heart Wants What It Wants.”
The painfully honest song chronicles her experience with love and vulnerably lays her feelings out for consideration. That set the scene for Revival, which arrived a year later and showcased even more of the pop princess’s inner workings. She introduced the project with what is quite possibly her sexiest single to date – “Good For You.” The sensual, self-assured bop envelopes listeners in a wash of lusty feelings with Selena’s breathy vocals holding it all together. Unsurprisingly it rocketed up the Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at number 5 on the chart. And she repeated the feat with the ruthlessly catchy “Same Old Love.”
After that, she returned to the Top 10 with “Hands To Myself” and closed out the era by landing within the Top 40 one more time thanks to “Kill Em With Kindness.” But there are several other songs that could have been released as singles. It’s hard narrow it down to just one when faced with such a stacked tracklist. Revival is a rarity in that there are few if any misses. However, one that definitely deserves closer attention is “Sober.” Produced by Stargate and Benny Blanco, the lush synth anthem again finds Selena dealing with matters of the heart. This time, she’s addressing a romance that only works when paired with some sort of high.
And the “Bad Liar” hitmaker holds nothing back over the deceptively bright production. “Up in the clouds. Yeah, you know how to make me want you. When we come down, oh I know, yeah I know, it’s over,” she sings. “You don’t know how to love me when you’re sober. When the bottle’s done you pull me closer. And you’re saying all the things that you’re supposed to. But you don’t know how to love me when you’re sober.” On the bridge she admits to knowing she should leave the relationship, but she’s still stuck in the arms of her “wasted dream” as it all comes to a conclusion. We’ve all been there. Earnest, relatable and very radio-friendly, it sounds like another sure-fire hit.
Revisit the should-be single below and let us know if you agree.