While promoting her new album Revival, Selena Gomez admitted that she "wouldn't be the greatest singer in the world," but added she has honed in on her ability to "translate emotion and heart." It's that latter point that has made Gomez's tunes increasingly satisfying for pop fans and has brought some seriously great records to radio over the past half-decade. From her early work with Selena Gomez & The Scene to her latest solo ventures, here are 10 seriously spectacular cuts.
"Bang Bang Bang" is a slick, synthy cut from the 2011 album When the Sun Goes Down by Selena Gomez & The Scene — the starlet's initial band — that was one of the earliest indications of Selena finding her sweet spot of subdued vocals over frenetic production, best heard on the super-smooth choruses.
You might still be sick of "Come & Get It" after pop radio become obsessed with it during the summer of 2013, but the lead single from Gomez's Stars Dance album — her first without The Scene — is undeniably well-made, as it melding Indian- and Bollywood-music elements (tabla drums FTW) into the pop world.
Selena has been vocal about her Hispanic heritage, and incorporates a little Latin flavor into this standout track off Revival. Spanish guitars and blaring horns back Gomez's mix of party shouts and sultry come-hithers.
Ahead of the new LP's release, Selena said Revival was largely inspired by Christina Aguilera's coming-of-age album Stripped, which also touched on her Latin roots via fan favorites like "Infatuation" and the all-Spanish "Premier Amor Interlude."
While Revival may be influenced by Stripped, "Me & The Rhythm" reminds us of another Xtina album; with its feel-good synth production, lively guitar and beachy feel, fans have likened it to Aguilera's "Monday Morning," off 2010's Bionic. Both should have gotten the chance to shine as singles (though, there's still time for "Rhythm").
You may or may not have heard the title track from Selena Gomez & The Scene's sophomore album — it slipped into the Top 40 in 2010, peaking at No. 35 on the Hot 100 — but the lush single is an undeniable standout. A warm, synth-pop production backs Gomez as she emotes how a "day without you is like a year without rain."
"Tell Me Something I Don't Know" was Selena's first official music release, and the lead single off her ABC Family movie Another Cinderella Story. Despite the somewhat-corny rock-pop production, Gomez's raspy delivery indicated a girl who could own any type of pop track — even at the tender age of 16.
A soft, slightly melancholy dance jam, "Write Your Name" blends Selena's affinity for soft coos and emotional belting. That combination is best heard within the verses here, where she sweetly tells a lover to "Take my arm, take my hand" before more aggressively demanding, "Leave your mark, like a man."
Sonically, "The Heart Wants What It Wants" is notable for its Lorde-esque, minimal electro-pop beat, complete with finger snaps, ominous synths and haunting groans. But the lead single off her greatest hits set For You stands out for the first time it truly felt like we were getting to know Gomez which includes her heartbreaking attraction to bad boys.