Release Date: Jun 28, 2011
Record label: Hollywood
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Teen Pop
At just 18 years old, Selena Gomez is a showbiz vet, with a decade-plus in the game. (Before she was a Disney princess, she did dinosaur duets on Barney & Friends.) So it's no surprise that Gomez's third album is a very professional affair. The production credits are full of top flight songwriter-producers, and even a couple of starlets. (Britney Spears and Katy Perry get songwriting credits here).
You’d be forgiven if you thought Selena Gomez & the Scene’s third album in three years, 2011's When the Sun Goes Down, might show signs of a dip in quality control due to cranking out albums so quickly. You’d be wrong, though, because When the Sun Goes Down is actually an improvement over 2010's Year Without Rain. Where that record tried to position Gomez as a more serious and adult artist with varying levels of success, here she’s back to mostly being a young and breezy, happy-go-lucky pop singer.
Has the future Mrs. Bieber been taking guidance from her prince-of-pop boyfriend? On her first two albums, this Disney star never shook the moonlighting-actor vibe; on When the Sun Goes Down, though, she sounds fully invested in tart electro-disco ditties like ”Bang Bang Bang,” which strongly recalls La Roux’s ”Bulletproof.” And the top-shelf collaborators don’t hurt — see: the grinding ”Whiplash,” co-penned by one Britney Spears. B+ Download These:Uptempo rocker My DilemmaSparkly stomper That’s More Like It More Music Reviews from EW:Beyoncé’s 4David Cook’s This Loud MorningDolly Parton’s Better DayRave On Buddy Holly (Various Artists) .
“This song would be perfect to do the robot dance to”, mused my eight-year-old son, referring to a track from When the Sun Goes Down. Out of the mouths of babes, etc… Selena Gomez’s third album in 21 months smacks of cold calculation. Indeed, with few exceptions, it could have been conceived, designed, written and produced by a computer program, the only human input being those of Gomez’s vocals which are not Auto-Tuned.
If we are to endure Disney Channel starlets whose 360-degree-TV-film-pop careers are micro-managed at the tweet level, there could be worse offenders than Selena Gomez, love interest to Justin Bieber. Her third album is not on a par with Britney, but it is less noisome than detractors might imagine. Opener "Love You Like a Love Song" combines a lyrical weariness beyond her years with some acrylic pump action.