REVIEW: Selena Gomez’s Revelación fails to capture its full potential

Selena Gomez's Spanish EP Revelación never fully captures your admiration.

Photo from Wikipedia, property of Interscope Records and the photographer/graphic artist

Selena Gomez’s Spanish EP Revelación never fully captures your admiration.

Anneliese Esparza, Editor-in-Chief

Selena Gomez’s latest musical project, a seven-song EP called Revelación, finds the singer exploring love and independence while paying tribute to her Hispanic heritage (apart from one bilingual song, the rest are completely in Spanish). 

But despite its promising premise and a few standouts, the EP never fully gets off the ground, as the songs’ lyrics, melodies and production are, by and large, underwhelming.

Revelación opens with one of its strongest tracks, “De Una Vez,” which also served as the EP’s lead single. Thematically, the song is about moving on from a toxic ex and finding the courage to embrace one’s own independence. “Soy más fuerte sola,” sings Gomez “I am stronger alone.” Echoey synthetic sounds give the track a calming vibe, while the beat brings it an understated power.

Another highlight is “Selfish Love,” a collaboration with producer DJ Snake. The song, which deals with feeling insecure about the lasting strength of a relationship, has an upbeat, catchy melody and interesting, varied production (including a smooth saxophone riff after the chorus, which adds a nice dimension to the song).

“Baila Conmigo,” while not quite as solid as “De Una Vez” or “Selfish Love,” is a decently strong track. A duet with rapper/singer Rauw Alejandro, the song examines two lovers who do not perfectly understand each other due to a language barrier but decide to fall in love anyway. The two singers have good vocal chemistry, although the track could have benefited from less autotune on Alejandro’s voice.

But after these three songs (which, coincidentally, were Revelación’s three singles), things start to go downhill. With nearly identical beats and repetitive lyrics without much substance, the EP’s remaining four songs all begin to blend together in a forgettable blur.

One of the low points of the record is “Dámelo To,” a collaboration with rapper/singer Myke Towers about two lovers who feel a burning passion for one another. Towers’ high-pitched, nasal voice pairs poorly with Gomez’s more husky, smooth voice, and a jarring electronic countermelody that continues nearly the whole song is more distracting than captivating.

Despite some disappointing songs on Revelación’s tracklist, Gomez does deserve credit for embracing her Hispanic heritage and branching out musically, as the project moves beyond her accustomed pop sound to other genres such as reggaeton and R&B.

Her voice also sounds better than ever, and the EP’s pacing is good, as each song hovers at or below the three-minute mark and the entire record clocks in at under 20 minutes. While Revelación may not be a total revelation, musically speaking, the EP is still a solid project that those who are a fan of Gomez or of Latin music may want to listen to.

Anneliese Esparza is a senior literature and writing studies major serving as The Cougar Chronicle’s Editor-in-Chief. She also freelances for local publications.  After graduation, she hopes to become a reporter (and eventually an editor) for a mid-size local newspaper. In her free time, Anneliese enjoys playing piano, reading, spending time with her family and hanging out with her three cats. Twitter handle: @a__esparza

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos