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Selena Gomez & the Scene is back in 2011 with its third studio album, When the Sun Goes Down, released June 28, 2011.
The first single, “Why Says” had its world premiere on the radio show On Air with Ryan Seacrest on March 8 and was officially released on March 14. The accompanying music video, directed by Chris Applebaum, premiered on VEVO on March 11. “Who Says” was co-written and produced by Emanuel Kiriakou and Priscilla Hamilton. The song was met with generally positive reviews from most music critics, with many praising its theme of self-empowerment. Bill Lamb of About.com even called the band “the most consistent Disney pop hit-maker in recent year. The single was moderately successful, debuting at No. 24 on the Billboard’s Hot 100 and has gone to sell close to 900,000 copies in the U.S. The song also reached No. 17 in Canada and No. 15 in New Zealand, becoming the band’s highest charting single in those countries.
“Who Says” follows a succession of several self-empowerment anthems including “Firework” (Katy Perry), “Perfect” (Pink) and “Born This Way” (Lady Gaga). According to Gomez, this song was intended to inspire people and fire back at the “haters,” particularly those involved in cyber-bullying.
This single, “Who Says,” marks a distinct departure in sound for the band, as it has an acoustic and organic feel, compared to their other dance-pop and club-oriented singles. Gomez sings in the chorus: “Who says you’re not perfect/Who says you’re not worth it/Who says you’re the only one that’s hurting/Trust me that’s the price of beauty/Who says you’re not pretty/Who says you’re not beautiful/Who says” inspiring listeners not to listen to the gossip and hateful words spread about them. What matters is what you think of yourself. However, while Bill Lamb stated that the band is consistent in sound, this song lacks in originality, and said that it was another pop song with a theme of self-esteem.
Gomez wants to party with title track, “When the Sun Goes Down” as the up-tempo kicks off with a stuttering synth melody and an electric guitar riff energizing the opening verse as Gomez sings about looking forward to the evening after a long, tiring day. By the time the infectious chorus enters, Gomez sings “The party doesn’t start ’til the sun goes down/That’s when everything starts moving/Everybody up when the sun goes down/The music isn’t on ’til it’s way too loud/That’s when everybody starts dancing/Everybody shout when the sun goes down.” This song definitely sounds like the perfect way to kick off Friday night and dance through ‘til morning.
USA Today claims that in this album, Gomez takes on a bit of Britney Spears’ clubby femme fatale and a little of Katy Perry’s sexy role tweaker (both who contributed songs on this album), but she hasn’t turned her back on the young female audience that look up to her as a role model. Even the album’s most overtly sexual song, “We Own the Night,” tells a story with tame language. Compared with recent Top 40 hits, lyrics like “is it all right if I’m with you for the night” sound positively modest and the least bit risqué. Her undeniable catchy singles “Who Says” and “Love You Like a Love Song” suggest that Gomez is on the right track as she transitions into adulthood.
1. Love You Like a Love Song
2. Bang Bang Bang
3. Who Says
4. We Own the Night (featuring Pixie Lott)
5. Hit the Lights
6. Whiplash (written by Britney Spears)
7. When the Sun Goes Down
8. My Dilemma
9. That’s More Like It
11. Middle of Nowhere
12. Dices (Who Says-Spanish Version)