From “Fetish” To “Taki Taki”: Selena Gomez’s Droplets Ranked
With the start of Selena Gomez’s long-awaited SG2 era almost upon us (“Lose You To Love Me” drops at midnight), this is as good a time as any to reflect on the pop star’s droplets. And before you ask, that’s the fan-adopted name for the steady stream of stand-alone singles that came after Revival. While health issues delayed the 27-year-old’s new album for four years, she was never too far away — scoring hit after hit with songs like “It Ain’t Me,” “Taki Taki” and “Back To You.”
The fact that Selena pulled it off with minimal promotion (most songs remain unperformed) and, in certain cases, no radio support shows both the power of her brand and her excellent choice in collaborators. Make no mistake, all seven droplets are bops. Which makes ranking them really, really hard. There isn’t a dud to be found, but some tracks have aged a little better than others. In any case, take these rankings with a grain of salt. Even the song placed last is better than the average lead single.
7. I Can’t Get Enough
A collaboration with Benny Blanco, Tainy and J Balvin, “I Can’t Get Enough” stands out as one of 2019’s most underrated singles. The slinky, bilingual bop is a razor-sharp fusion of Latin, pop and hip-hop that suffers from one minor flaw. It’s a grower. And they don’t find an audience unless the song is heavily promoted or a championed at radio. Regardless, this is still a winning companion piece to “Taki Taki.”
Yes, I know. Selenators love “Fetish” with a passion that borders on obsession. It certainly has its appeal (namely, the sublime chorus), but the Gucci Mane-assisted track already sounds a little dated. Which is worrying given that it’s only two years old. And there’s the unforgivable soap-eating video. On the bright side, the Galantis remix great and the fact that a song this offbeat cracked the top 30 is an impressive accomplishment.
5. Taki Taki
Co-starring the dream team of DJ Snake, Cardi B and Ozuna, “Taki Taki” was nothing short of a global phenomenon. In fact, the numbers speak for themselves. 860 million+ Spotify streams. 1.5 billion YouTube views. Top 10 chart placings in more than 30 countries. We could have added the US to that list if the video was rolled out in a timely manner. (It had to make do with number 11). Why isn’t it higher on the list? Because the other songs are just that good.
“Wolves” is something of an exception in that it actually got a live performance. Unfortunately, that was the start and end of the promotional campaign. Which hampered its chart run, but did nothing to diminish its popularity on streaming services (it has racked up 760 million+ on Spotify alone). I’m glad the Marshmello-produced banger ultimately found an audience because dance-pop doesn’t come much classier than this.
3. Back To You
Aah, “Back To You.” The unpromoted single that could. With only a sync on 13 Reasons Why to send its on its way, “Back To You” hung around the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 for months and ultimately cracked the top 20. After all, songs with a universally relatable subject matter (making the same old mistakes) and real heart usually win in the end. Even the video was a work of art.
2. It Ain’t Me
Selena’s collaboration with Kygo was the first droplet and still stands out as one of the best. “It Ain’t Me” elevated dance-pop to new heights with its overwhelming melancholy and practical advice. If “Back To You” is a mood, then this is a lesson. Let someone else clean up that mess because you deserve better. Almost three years have passed since the arrival of this song and I still hear it on the radio multiple times a day. We love a modern classic with longevity.
1. Bad Liar
This miracle of a pop song really shouldn’t exist. Built around the bass line of a Talking Heads classic, “Bad Liar” pushed Selena into indie-pop territory and earned rave review from sites that normally turn their nose up at her music. The quirky sound was undeniable and Selena’s breathy vocals finally found their perfect vehicle. If Selena’s droplets formed an (incredible) EP, this would be the ultimate highlight.