I’m not trying to make it a habit of reporting on Disney singers, past and present, but I have been curious about Selena Gomez, considering her stock went up recently for dating the world most famous-est teenager evah.
The Toby Gad-produced “Bang Bang Bang” has the synths of the ’80s but rings reminiscent of early-career Britney, starting with those very teasing, very mature “yeahs” at the beginning. I hear nothing particularly extraordinary about her voice, but the chorus sorta has me doing a dance. Let’s get a Boyz Noize remix, stat.
Like Taylor Swift — who also had her hands on a Jonas — there comes with songs of this sort speculation on just who she’s trying to court and burn. I’m not particularly interested in whom 18-year-old Gomez is dating and experiencing the normal brash of teenage fumblings, but the politics of starting that game this early into one’s career is somewhat startling, as it always is. She boasts that her new “man” — perhaps 17-year-old Justin Bieber — knows how to “flaunt this,” her as a thing. But it’s not like pop has ever pretended to turn the corner on teenagers objectifying themselves (nor in journalists reducing artists to calculated brands).
Gomez and her band The Scene have “When the Sun Goes Down” coming out at the end of the month, and surely it will grab hold of the chart much higher than her previous No. 4 best from “A Year Without Rain.” “Who Says,” the new album’s initial single, is much gummier, and nearly made our Top Summer Songs cut. I’m interested to see how much she’ll push the electro-pop angle, and how many more tracks will be centered around boys and their swagger.