Without resorting to Miley Cyrus-like shocks to shed her Disney reputation, Selena Gomez glides elegantly into adulthood on her fourth studio album, Stars Dance.
The cherub-faced pop starlet exhibits her sultry, sonic reinvention on the dark, synth-heavy title track and proclaims her new-found partying persona on the infectious album opener Birthday. While the radio-ready hit Come and Get It and the Justin Bieber-inspired break-up ballad Love Will Remember will undoubtedly bring commercial success, Gomez’s attempts to encompass as many trendy musical genres as she possibly can comes off as contrived at times.
The Buju Banton-sampling reggae track Like A Champion sees Gomez awkwardly attempt Jamaican patois, and the chorus of the electro-pop track B.E.A.T. is nothing more than a shameless rip-off of Dev’s 2010 club smash Bass Down Low. By experimenting with just the right amount of cutting-edge material, Gomez strikes a safe balance between the parent-approved preteen pop that propelled her to fame and the club-ready grown-up music that she’s expected to churn out.