Selena Gomez brings out sun with “A Year Without Rain”

By Katarzyna Barnak

Almost exactly a year after the debut of Kiss & Tell, her first album, Selena Gomez and the Scene presents us with a second CD. They say practice makes perfect and I think that this definitely applies to Selena. This follow-up album is fantastic, particularly when compared to her first. A Year Without Rain is more of a pop/dance genre and has some great tracks. Selena reveals a more soulful and dance-loving side. Thanks to this album, she establishes herself vocally,proving that she has an original sound. On her previous album, Selena sounded too much like her peer, Demi Lovato. Her title track A Year Without Rain, is the cherry of this delicious ear candy. Selena also reveals her soft side in Ghost of You, a delicate reminiscence of lost love. The invigorating Spotlight is a message to throw the mirror away for all the girls that are over worried with their appearance. I also love Live Like There’s No Tomorrow, which has great acoustics, piano and drum accompaniment, and could potentially be our graduation song! I also enjoyed Off the Chain, Round & Round and Rock God. Some people criticize Selena, saying she is not much of a talent due to her auto tune and “processed-sounding” songs. However, nowadays most of the music industry is using the computerized technique at one level or another. Selena does not use it nearly as much as Ke$ha, Lil Wayne, or The Black Eyed Peas. Those recognized artists built their entire careers on that sound. If you hear their live concerts you cannot help but cringe at some moments. But I actually YouTubed some of Selena’s live performances and they are fine – she actually hits all the notes. Overall, this album is a collection of awesome feel-good jams; much better than her previous, childish one. I guess Selena Gomez got some advice from Shakira, who appeared on Gomez’s Disney Channel show The Wizards of Waverly Place, where the two sang the senior songstress’s hit Gypsy. Shakira is known for her bilingual covers. Not only does Selena’s music transform to something you can really sway your hips to, but her hit single A Year Without Rain on the Deluxe Edition is also included in Spanish. I have to admit that the Spanish version is more sensual and Selena sounds more mature. It’s a great CD to have in your car and sing along to. The album costs $9.99 and includes ten great tracks. You can also get the Deluxe Edition (which is the one I have) for an extra $3. It has an additional five songs (which includes a remix and the Spanish version of A Year Without Rain.) I can see many of these songs appearing on soundtracks of movies and being played at parties, and graduations. A shout out to Selena for her improvement, and I can’t wait to hear what she has in store for us next.