Recording information: BAMF Studios, LA; Ekas Studios; Glenwood Studios; Hide Out Studios, London; Roc The Mic Studios, NYC; Rock Mafia Studios, Santa Monica, CA; Safe House Studios; Soundmaster Studios, Ltd., Budapest, Hungary; Soundtrack Studios, NYC; Strawberrybee Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Superspy Studios; WaterSound Studios, Studio City, CA.
Photographer: Hilary Walsh.
Selena Gomez has been a lot of things in her short career -- a Disney star, a steady source of tabloid fodder, an aspiring actress -- but what sometimes gets overlooked is that, since 2009, she's been making really good records that put her right at the top of her generation of pop singers. For You collects some of the biggest singles and best songs from her four albums, her "duet" with Selena ("Bidi Bidi Bom Bom"), and a couple new songs as well. At her best, Gomez has a light and nimble vocal style that fits into a wide variety of styles and always delivers just the right level of emotion without ever overselling. She feels natural delivering sweet pop anthems like "Who Says," hitting the sad disco on "Round & Round," or rocking out a little on "Falling Down." Mostly, though, she sticks to danceable, slightly melancholic dance pop, and this collection makes clear just how good she is at it. The only ballad included is the newly recorded, very adult and real-sounding "The Heart Wants What It Wants," and she acquits herself well here too. The other new track is "Do It," a rollicking midtempo pop jam that's also very "adult," to the point that any preteens checking it out may need to have a few things explained to them. Gomez might not be a belter or have the electric personality of some of her contemporaries; what she does possess is style, a winning voice, and lots of good songs -- as For You proves again and again. ~ Tim Sendra