It Is Rare to Give a Middle Finger as Good as Selena Gomez’s “Rare”

Gomez is back with a new album and it’s already being lauded as the best work of her career.

Don Arnold / Getty

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Selena Gomez is back, and she’s vying, again, for a number one hit this week with Rare. It’s been rightfully hailed as her best work yet, and it’s basically like listening to someone give the middle finger to their past.

A public fight with the lupus disease, an even more public breakup, and even somehow more public stint in mental health treatment are acknowledged and told to shove it. (But in a healthy way.) With Rare Gomez is moving onto bigger and better things: herself.

Revival and Stars Dance shouldn’t be totally forgotten, both fit into the era’s of pop music they were born into—the former heavy on the EDM beats and the latter defining Selena’s “ASMR-style production.” But on Rare Gomez “seems to have a grasp on her range,” Quinn Moreland writes in Pitchfork.

Let’s go ahead and rank these tracks!

13. “People You Know”
This is a fine song, nothing truly standout about it

12. “A Sweeter Place (feat. Kid Cudi)”
The last song on the album, it wraps up the collection in a nice and tight way. No more, no less.

11. “Fun”
A classic Gomez track, reminiscent of something like “Same Old Love” or “Hands to Myself”—inside Gomez’s comfort zone and nothing to write home about.

10. “Kinda Crazy”
This is a perfect post-breakup song and would be a perfect addition to any “Fuck You” playlist aimed at an ex.

9. “Let Me Get Me”
A danceable bop.

8. “Cut You Off”
The story Gomez tells with “Cut You Off” is one of lessons learned, and lessons still being learned, helping bring a self-awareness to the album that contextualizes the other tracks. 

7. “Crowded Room”
In her collaboration with 6LACK, Gomez turns a tired pop trope—being the only two people in a crowded room to connect—into something fun, sexy, and ultimately refreshing.

6. “Look At Her Now”
Her most radio-made single, “Look At Her Now” only gets better with every listen.

5. “Ring”
Easily her most experimental track on the album, it plays with sound and silence in ways that elevate the song similar to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “The Sound”—the highest of compliments.

4. “Lose You To Love Me”
Give us the drama Gomez! Gomez’s first Billboard #1 single is an introspective look at losing yourself in a relationship, only being able to recognize the stranger in the mirror you’ve become after a devastating heartbreak.

3. “Vulnerable”
Yes. The pop-drop in this song tracks with the emotional buildup (and final release) of the story Gomez tells about herself.

2. “Dance Again”
“Dance Again” is to Rare what “Me & the Rhythm” was to Revival: A reclamation of body and mind through trendy sounds and honest lyrics.

1. “Rare”
Rare is it that a title song the best track off an album, but “Rare” explodes with a freedom unlike anything Gomez has done before.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate