Lost Hit: Selena Gomez’s “Vulnerable” Should Have Been A Single
Between the COVID-19 crisis and ongoing civil unrest, 2020 has been an inopportune time to release music. (Unless you’re jumping on the remix of an established hit or have enough cash for a huge radio deal). One of the albums that has seemingly fallen through the cracks is Selena Gomez’s Rare. It’s not only a near-perfect pop offering, but jam-packed with potential hits. So why haven’t any of them been released? Instead, we got a jarringly pre-mature deluxe edition with a stone-cold smash called “Boyfriend”… that wasn’t even sent to radio.
That is a pop tragedy in and of itself, but at least it got two cute videos. That’s more than you can say for “Vulnerable,” which ranks as one of best synth-pop offerings of 2020. In interviews, Selena has referred to the track as the heart of Rare and that really makes sense. It’s cautious and a little jaded, but ultimately optimistic and defiant. The bop is about demanding more for yourself without putting a padlock around your heart. “Vulnerable” is also frighteningly addictive. Like musical heroin, one listen and you’re hooked.
“If I give you every piece of me, I know that you could drop it,” Selena begins over The Monsters & Strangerz’s dreamy production. “Give you the chance, I know that you could take advantage once you got it.” On Twitter, co-writer Jon Bellion revealed that the verses were partly inspired by Savage Garden’s “Cherry Cola” and that becomes more apparent with every listen. “Vulnerable” then explodes on the chorus. “I would tell you all my secrets, wrap your arms around my weakness,” she coos. “If the only other option’s letting go, I’ll stay vulnerable.”
Of course, there are no rules in 2020. There’s no reason why “Vulnerable” can’t be worked as a single when/if everything calms down. It deserves a video and a live performance at the very least. The same goes for “People You Know,” “Ring” and “A Sweeter Place.”