Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Selena Gomez ft. Gucci Mane – Fetish

And yet no mention of Eve…


Alfred Soto: After “Bad Liar” failed to take, her people turn to this serviceable churn, on which Ciara would have growled a decade earlier. It almost works despite the hamhanded use of the title conceit. Will it be a relief on the radio? Yes.

Thomas Inskeep: I don’t think Selena Gomez knows what the word “fetish” means.

Anthony Easton: I have a fetish for those wacky kookaburra sounds and the weird percussion choices. I have less of a fetish for the superfluous Gucci Mane verse. 

Alex Clifton: By far the sexiest song Selena’s ever done. It’s confident, assertive, commanding, and steamy as hell (“If I were you, I’d do me too” is as unsubtle as they come, and works wonders). I have never been able to call Selena a strong singer, but she’s found a way to use her voice to her advantage — here, her delivery is delicate. Where “Hands to Myself” was light and flirty, this one is the aural equivalent of direct eye contact in a bar — a feeling that’s very difficult to transpose to music directly. I preferred “Bad Liar” overall in terms of catchiness, but both are solid offerings from Selena’s next major project.

Ramzi Awn: In playing it safe, which seems like a good idea after “Bad Liar”, Gomez instead sells herself short on “Fetish”, the main problem with the single being its banal lyrics. 

Hannah Jocelyn: Well, this is a mess. First of all, get Michaels/Tranter back in the studio, and not the eight writers it took to make an opening verse that awkward. And the title doesn’t make any sense in context either; something like “you are a boomerang, my love” would be more accurate with the following lines, even if apparently, a Bright Eyes deep track got there first. Also, where “Bad Liar” felt almost timeless in its songwriting, the vocal warps, triplet flows, and Gucci Mane verse already feel dated. I’m sure the rest of the album will fare better, but this is a disappointment. 

Katie Gill: Gomez’s half-singing, half-whispering cadence combined with one of the most awkward choruses of 2017 makes for a REALLY odd final product. The quiet, almost underplayed tone of voice and beat that worked so well in “Bad Liar” just comes off here as sleepy and far too restrained.

Ryo Miyauchi: I keep hearing it as “you got a fetish for my life” from how Selena curves her words. Off record, she’s more than aware of how she’s viewed through the looking glass, so her glance at the mirror added a sly meta context like she’s winking back to Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me.” Even with the correct lyric, the song’s chilly feel of voyeurism remains. Her now-signature sigh of a delivery is even more eerie in its detachment with her vaporous beats of Revival darkening into a more toxic fume.

Micha Cavaseno: A nauseous sea of humid grog that definitely makes the listener feel like they’ve got to consider washing up or buying wipes afterwards. If anything, the biggest issue is they needed the dead-eyed Gucci Mane of 2013 rather than the more committed Gucci of the current day here, because his relative disinterest is not the same as being strewn out the way Gomez sounds here. Definitely a case of her trying to convey some sort of haggard despair, but making weird stumbles along the way.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: I appreciate all the different attempts at vocalizing here, but it’ll take a lot to salvage a song with a first verse as unsexy as this. The clumsy lyrics and superfluous Gucci feature aren’t doing the song any favors, either. Which is unfortunate considering how Selena’s smoky intonation in the chorus is actually rather seductive.

Stephen Eisermann: I’ve got to hand it to Selena, man. When she first hit the scene she was constantly criticized for being a star “without talent,” with many people citing her weaker vocal ability, lack of stage presence and lack of dancing ability as three major areas of weakness. I was always a fan of hers (mostly due to her show on Disney at the time), but even I was willing to admit that she did seem to lack all of the basics necessary to make for a successful pop star. Then, something happened. Seemingly overnight, bops were born with her voice leading the way. She commanded a stage, even when she hit bum notes (her refusal to lip sync has always been a a great thing in my book) and her star presence even showed through on recordings. Now, Selena is a household name who just released one of the most ambitious and unique singles of 2017 (and her career, really). “Bad Liar” was a hit with critics but struggled with radio and the general public. But rather than retreat and give us a generic radio track in an effort to win over listeners once more (see “The Cure” by Gaga), Selena gives us the sexiest song of her career. Sexual energy oozes from the track, but it never sounds vulgar or overbearing; instead, Selena lets her voice circle and mess with the melody — it’s truly amazing how someone with such a small voice handles this track with such finesse. All of this brings me back to my main point, Selena has managed to do something that no other Disney starlet could (and that many newer pop stars struggle with): she’s adapted. She’s developed. And she’s become a goddamn superstar.

Eleanor Graham: It’s so much easier to write songs now that words don’t have meaning.

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3 Responses to “Selena Gomez ft. Gucci Mane – Fetish”

  1. How did so many critics get this so wrong? Apart from the bridge, which sucks, this is a lovely and disturbing song, and hits the right balance of artfulness and extreme pop catchiness.

  2. I’m especially irked by the comment that the first verse is “unsexy,” undercutting a chorus that’s “actually rather seductive”
    — as if she has some obligation to become our sex object.

    The song pretty clearly isn’t meant to be conventionally sexy. “Fetish” is about the weird, under-explored realm of autoeroticism, and the oblique and somehow unsettling role it plays in sex and romance. There’s seduction going on, but it’s of Selena Gomez by Selena Gomez.