Gomez gives less than a revelation with EP Revelación


Photo courtesy of Interscope Records

Revelación album poster

On March 12, international popstar Selena Gomez released her latest extended play, Revelación, joining the long list of artists who have recorded at home studios during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The former Disney star turned pop icon’s EP is some of her most ambitious work to date as it is sung entirely in Spanish with reggaeton influences, a homage to her Mexican roots. At just seven tracks and a runtime of 19:31 with each track barely touching three minutes, Revelación makes for a concise and familiar, but energetic and unique project.

The opening track “De Una Vez” (“In One Go”) is a classic reggaeton song with obvious Latin and R&B influences. It’s a soft tune featuring peppy and typical staccato drum beats with Gomez’s voice ringing throughout each verse. The hook is alluring and Gomez soothes the listener into an excellent setup for the rest of the project.

“Buscando Amor” (“Searching for Love”) features a more pop-influenced and upbeat rhythm with Gomez’s voice sticking out like a sore thumb over a confused instrumental. This one just sounds like a cheap Rosalía rip-off executed poorly. From the vocals to the production, this one is a hot mess that felt like it lasted an eternity at just 3:08. However, despite this, the track’s outro is one of the high points of the entire EP with lavish and daring vocal effects that not only act as the most riveting piece of singing Gomez does, but it fits much better with the rhythm that seemed to be at fault earlier in the track. I just wish that this was the formula throughout the whole song.

“Baila Conmigo” (“Dance With Me”) with Puerto Rican rapper Rauw Alejandro has an inviting hook, but the rest of the three-minute cut falls incredibly flat. Again, the fault mainly lies with the production as both Alejandro and Gomez do not blend in well with the instrumental at all. The duo keeps pleading “Baila, baila, baila conmigo” (“Dance, dance, dance with me”) but the mood is far too boring to even think about dancing.

“Dámelo To” (“Give Me Everything”) is a great turnaround for the project as Gomez’s voice takes the center stage, but it doesn’t feel out of place at all. It’s the freshest and most unique sounding track on the EP even though it has ten writing credits listed. Additionally, it has some of the best lyrical content of Gomez’s recent work with powerful hard-hitting lines like “que mi nombre en tu boca, te siento y no me tocas” (“that my name’s in your mouth, I feel you but don’t touch me”). There’s a lovely arrogant feel to this track that only a star veteran in music can accurately capture and Gomez delivers beautifully here.

Following, “Vicio” (“Vice”) features a calmer, more chill pop beat that is eerily similar to a ‘calm beats’ playlist you would listen to over speakers in a cafe while getting some work done. However, this is quickly thrown off with Gomez’s fast line of “vicio mio” (“my vice”), which intrudes upon the smooth voice Gomez had earlier. Opening a beat sounding like the ticking of a clock becomes reminiscent of the opening of the 2018 summer hit “The Middle” by Zedd and Marren Morris. Soon enough the track becomes repetitive and arduous to actively listen to. 

“Adiós” (“Goodbye”) stays similar to the second track featured on the EP, “Buscando Amor.” It features a generic pop-influenced beat, that like, “Buscando Amor,” sounds slightly confused. With this underwhelming rhythm, not living up to expectations, Gomez’s voice feels overproduced. The lyrics should mask the lack of rhythm, especially when no other elements are standing out, however that is not the case. While catchy, the lyrics featured on this piece sound nothing less than a broken record.

The last song, “Selfish love,” with DJ Snake proved to be a solid closer to a slightly underwhelming EP. This track was the first bit of English on the entire project. While sounding similar to other songs DJ Snake has been involved with, in terms of rhythm, it serves as a good track to bop to as a calmer Latin-pop song. Overall, this track felt relatively balanced in comparison to the other pieces, yet still didn’t sound or feel like anything overly impressive or special. 

This project is unlike any other that we’ve heard from Gomez and while lyrics flow smoothly in Gomez’s voice, the general feeling is that this extended play was overhyped and did not deliver despite its commercial and critical success. 

However, it offered a refreshing break from what fans are used to from the artist, highlighting a previously unknown versatility in Gomez’s arsenal. Even though many tracks didn’t meet expectations, we experienced Gomez embracing her culture and furthering her career in the world of Spanish music, which we’ll hopefully hear more of soon.