Released September 2010 by Hollywood Records
Here Selena Gomez drops much of the rock attitude of Kiss and Tell, the debut album with her band the Scene. Instead she fully embraces dance-pop. It has the effect of sounding more adult and fitting the current pop mainstream perfectly. Although still only 18, she seems serious about expanding her sound to embrace a more mature audience while not leaving her teen fans behind.
Upbeat, Positive Dance-Pop
As it zips by in 10 succinct songs, the second album from Selena Gomez and the Scene is likely to bring more than a few smiles to your face. Although there are occasional pensive moments like on the beautiful dance ballad that is the title cut, most of A Year Without Rain is perky, friendly dance-pop. "Rock God," co-written by Katy Perry, tells of joyously falling for a guy that's a "Rock God." Produced by the Swedish team of Peer Astrom and Anders Bagge, "Spotlight" speaks of winning the battle over disappointment when looking in the mirror. "Like Like There's No Tomorrow," also included on the soundtrack for the film Ramona and Beezus, is an inspirational ballad that truly does uplift by the end.
Selena Gomez Is an Artist To Be Reckoned With
Although there is a fair amount of fluff here, particularly lyrically, and this is still in places pure Disney pop product, Selena Gomez is a highly promising artist. Unlike the recent lurches in the music of Miley Cyrus as she contends with adulthood around the corner, Selena Gomez looks like she is well on her way to evolving from teen to adult music with few visible seams. She is clearly a charming and appealing vocalist. A next step would be to find out if there truly is a conviction to a particular image or message Selena Gomez would like to communicate as an adult artist.
Top Tracks on 'A Year Without Rain'
- "A Year Without Rain"
- "Rock God"
- "Like Like There's No Tomorrow"
Clearly Selena Gomez and the Scene have evolved musically in the short year that has elapsed since their first album Kiss and Tell. That first release was filled with brash, somewhat naive, pop-rock attitude. This time around they are immersed in a more polished dance-pop style that moves easily from the glossy midtempo title cut to perky uptempo club tunes. If you have dismissed Selena Gomez as merely a cookie cutter Disney pop princess, it is high time to listen to more of her music and she is likely to change your mind. While not deep, A Year Without Rain is a solid, pleasing pop album.