10 January 2020 14:36
Selena Gomez's highly-anticipated third studio album, Rare, dropped this Friday, January 10, and it will certainly make her fans happy. Sonically, the record is right on par with her critically-praised 2015 LP, Revival: minimalistic and mid-tempo with spurts of buzzy, electronic energy. The focus on Rare is definitely the lyrics, with subtle production that doesn't overshadow Gomez's stream of consciousness. The singer wrote in November 2019 that this record is her "diary from the past few years," and that's absolutely apparent. Hell, we knew this from the first two singles, "Lose You to Love Me" and "Look at Her Now," alone.
Nothing's been confirmed, but it's widely speculated both of those songs center on Gomez's breakup with Justin Bieber, who's now married to Hailey Baldwin. Lyrics like "In two months you replaced us like it was easy" have fans thinking Gomez is referring to how quickly Bieber began dating Baldwin after ending things with her in 2018. And now, we have a full album of lyrics to dissect. To be clear, there's nothing on here explicitly about Bieber—just general musings about heartbreak and healing. But if the album really is a diary of her past few years, Bieber no-doubt inspired some of what we're hearing.
Below, a breakdown of all the lyrics from Rare that could be about him (emphasis on could—think of this like a big fan theory more than anything): "Rare" This plucky pop tune is all about realizing that someone who doesn't realize your worth is not worth your time. The lyrics are general but depict a romantic relationship—so that opens up the possibility this song is about Bieber. "Baby, you've been so distant from me lately," Gomez sings. "And lately, don't even wanna call you baby. Waiting up for you upstairs. Why you act like I'm not there?" "It feels like you don't care," she continues. "Oh why don't you recognize I'm so rare?" At one point, Gomez flat-out questions why she's staying with this person. "Baby, don't make me count up all the reasons to stay with you," she says. "No reason why you and I are not succeeding at all." Bieber and Gomez ultimately ended their relationship in 2018, at which point he started dating Baldwin. "Dance Again" By far the most uptempo track on the album "Dance Again" is light and fun—centering on Gomez letting go after months of stress. "I kickstart the rhythm," she sings. "All the drama's in remission." The drama she's referring to could be about Bieber. It wouldn't be a stretch, seeing as how their relationship was operatically documented by tabloids. "Look at Her Now" Read our full lyrical breakdown of this song here. "Lose You to Love Me" Again, we have a full analysis of the maybe-about-Bieber lyrics here. "Vulnerable" On this song, Gomez questions entering a relationship with a person. "If I give you every piece of me, I know that you could drop it," she sings. "Give you the chance, I know that you could take advantage once you got it. If I open up my heart to you, I know that you could lock it. Throw away the key, and keep it there forever in your pocket. If I give the opportunity to you, then would you blow it?" In the chorus, she asks the big question. "It feels like you don't care / Why don't you recognize I'm so rare? / Always there / You don't do the same for me, that's not fair / I don't have it all / I'm not claiming to / But I know that I'm special (So special), yeah / And I'll bet there's somebody else out there / To tell me I'm rare / To make me feel rare." 2. "Dance Again": In this song, the breakup is done, she's done her crying and now it's time to have some fun. It's all about picking yourself up and going back out into the world unapologetically post-breakup, knowing you'll probably be hurt again, but feeling so damn good now that your ex is gone that you don't care. It's also about feeling confident post-breakup knowing that you were honest and open and vulnerable with your lover. As Gomez sings, "Happiness ain't something you sit back and wait for / Confidence is throwing your heart through every brick wall." In the second verse, she praises her vulnerability. As she declares, "Vulnerable ain't easy / Believe me / But I go there / It's like I'm 10 feet tall / I'm high off the weight off my shoulders." In the chorus, she's feeling good. "I kick-start the rhythm / All the trauma's in remission / No I don't need permission," she sings. "Feels so, feels so, feels so good to dance again / Feels so, feels so, feels so good to dance again / With my emotions undressed I'm going in / With everything / To dance again / Feels so, feels so, feels so good."