From the moments title song "Kiss & Tell" kicks off with punkish guitars, hand claps, shouts of "Hey!" and even a touch of Adam and the Ants jungle drums and bass figures, you are clued in this album will be fun. Selena Gomez, at age 17, is the latest female pop artist promoted heavily by the Disney music machine. She is a teen singer full of fire and energy borrowing moves from her predecessors but also brings her own spirit and style to the dance. Selena Gomez is ready to step into the pop spotlight.
Released September 2009 by Hollywood Records
Energy Bursting at the Seams
There is an energy and excitement here that is positively infectious. On a number of songs Selena Gomez works with Gina Schock, drummer of the legendary punk girl group the Go-Go's. The title song and the single "Falling Down" have an aggressive, almost bratty, attack that borrows equally from punk attitude and pop melody. The well-chosen cover here, FeFe Dobson's "As a Blonde," positively bursts with intense, pounding force. However, even in this song Selena Gomez shows she is capable of a sweet breakdown. The lyrical subjects here are no surprise for a teen artist, but it is Gomez' delivery that makes the music fresh and fun.
A Share of Derivative Sounds
Kiss and Tell has its share of songs that seem somewhat derivative of other artists. "I Won't Apologize" sounds a bit like cookie cutter Kelly Clarkson. "Crush" emerges out of the Avril Lavigne factory, and the ballad "The Way I Loved You" is almost a bit too Miley-ish. However, you only need to turn to a song like "I Got U" to pick up that mix of sweetness and intensity that seems distinctively Selena Gomez.
Top Tracks on 'Kiss and Tell'
- "Kiss and Tell"
- "Falling Down"
- "As a Blonde"
- "I Got U"
Selena Gomez Is a New Artist Worth Watching
Kiss and Tell is not a masterpiece, but it is a great start. There is a clutch of great songs here, and Selena Gomez, at the young age of 17, is definitely an artist to watch. The uptempo vitality here rarely flags. However, Selena Gomez proves she can rock out as well as a deliver a more quiet ballad. Selena Gomez has a maturity that points in the direction of great music to come.