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Selena Gomez & The Scene - 'Naturally'

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Fraser McAlpine | 13:43 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

Selena Gomez

Try as I might, I just can't manage to create the right combination of circumstances for which this is the perfect soundtrack. I've tried climbing to the top of a very high hill and letting the wind whip around me while I punch the air dramatically. I've tried a midnight blast in the middle of a loud and sweaty club. I've tried headphones at dawn, ringtones in the park on a sunshiny day, a darkened room in the middle of the night, all sorts.

No matter what mood I'm in, no matter where I am, no matter what is going on around me, the reaction is always the same: a tut, an eyeroll, and a whispered "sheesh, calm down love, it's only pop music".

(Here's the video. This is literally what every day is like in Camp Gomez right now.)

Now, I'm not suggesting that there is anything wrong with great big huffy puffy pop songs which act like the universe has just gone CLANG! like a massive gong because the singer is excited about something. Some of the best pop songs of forever have been exactly this kind of a thing.

But those are songs which bowl you over with their emotive force, songs which would sound just as devastating without the sense of sonic scale. Stripped of the enormous wind that carries this aloft, it would struggle to get more than a couple of feet off the ground, before crashing down again, bruised and sobbing.

Not that Selena isn't giving her all. She's croaking in the croaky quiet bits, bellowing in the loud mooey choruses, and even puts her acting training to good use - thanks Disney! - in trying to sell the daft lyrics.

Actually that's not fair, they're not that daft. There is a problem though. It might be the production, it might be the words, or it could be the sense that perhaps this song came out of a stack of demo CDs from songwriters, all containing minor variations on this sort of thing.

Or it could just be that there's a great big hole where this song's heart should be, or even a great big hole where MY heart should be. Who can say? Apart from a qualified doctor, obviously...

Two starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: April 12th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

PS: Look, here's Selena forcing Tom Deacon to eat disgusting things on the 5:19 Show...



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