Jason Castro or Jared Leto?
Katherine St Asaph: Selena Gomez loves
Justin Bieber you like a love song, evidently one by Iyaz. Her team loves wobbly synths like a dubstep song. They all love circular, cutesy meta songs. But pity melodic and dramatic progression, all alone with the unloved songs.
Anthony Easton: Meta love songs are the best kind of love songs, especially if they feature sexy karaoke and Mozart drag. I like dreamy floaty portions that push in and out the more rhythmic bits. This is meticulously constructed and historically minded.
Zach Lyon: A little bit “Silly Love Songs,” a little bit “Deeper than the Holler” (“and this is just another way of saying the same thing”), a little bit… well, there are too many meta love songs to count and too many to really allow a new one to set itself apart. So forget the lyrics. Every other bit of the song is some grown-up posturing for Selena, and despite the fact that she still sounds like a kid, the song tries so damn hard to set her apart that it’s irresistible in its quirks — the spareness of the wobble wobbles and the drums, the melody’s minuscule range that still sounds tame when she goes high in the middle eight, her pronunciation of “BEBBIE.” This was produced by Rock Mafia, who seem to be the in-house producers for Disney stars, but this had me convinced Selena left the shell to work with some almost-experimental nerds who saw a lot more in her but didn’t know quite what it was until they finished the song.
Brad Shoup: Man, this song is kinda squelchy, which is funny because I’m faintly hearing the high drama of bygone major-label disco. Love the internal near-rhyme of “centerfold” with “miracle” and “incredible”. A fun slice of intertextual teen pop.
Andy Hutchins: Tauter tautology hasn’t happened in 2011. Who knew Robert Palmer could be reincarnated as a Tejana Disney product? And a must-watch video!
Alfred Soto: If you’re going to love like a love song, be sure your love song is a song first, not just a couple of fetching synth farts.
Ian Mathers: I’m actually annoyed that I’d read things that made me think this song was going to be clever. You COULD do something interesting with “I love you like a love song,” but Gomez doesn’t; the phrase becomes a tautology instead, about as deep as the “wacky” video. And distressingly, like “Naturally” (which at least had a compelling chorus), it’s another single about Gomez supplicating herself at the feet of a guy with seemingly magical powers. Take “I am hypnotized by your destiny,” for example, which for some reason is worse than if you replace “destiny” with “beauty” or another quality. Selena’s man isn’t just purty, he’s the fucking Ubermensch, and all she has to/can do is sing love songs about love songs at him.
Sally O’Rourke: Selena’s flattery is a lot more convincing when it sounds like she’s getting something out of it.
Jer Fairall: I don’t know what’s in Selena’s purported record collection, but if the trashy electro-funk of this one is any indication, I fear that she has serious misconceptions about what constitutes a love song. If this is the route she’s intent on pursuing, someone get her some Scissor Sisters records so she can learn a thing or ten.
Pete Baran: Selena moans that all the love songs have already been written. Which may be true, but that’s no reason to nick the tune of “Woman In Love” by Barbra Streisand. Pointing out that pop history is over is not the best basis for an ongoing pop career. She also does not say WHAT love song she loves you like, which is problematic, as love songs come in a wide range from stalker anthems to break-up tearjerkers.
Edward Okulicz: The chorus is a nothing I can’t see the point of, but the verses glide so luxuriously by that I can hear both “I Will Survive” and “The Logical Song” in the chords and the words, and it’s like a blissful dream.
Martin Skidmore: The crude “peat-peat-peat” fragment here sounds too mechanical for me, breaking up her usual warmth. The electropop backing is bright and smooth. It’s a shame the chorus sounds so like low-rent Eurodance, irritating me a little, because the other parts of this are very good.
Michaela Drapes: I mentioned rollerskates and a wind machine the other day; this is even more pop in the Xanadu mode. You can almost even hear it done by Olivia Newton-John, and I mean this in the best possible way. The big fat synths and brisk and skippy high hat keep things modern, and the wholesomeness of the proceedings is almost novel.
Jake Cleland: Oh my god, when her voice broke on the first line I fell in love. When Selena Gomez announced she was embarking on a music career, I had high hopes that she’d displace Miley Cyrus, both because I love underdogs and I love Wizards of Waverly Place. Until she does something that syncs with a Biggie track to create one of the most sublime mashups in musical history, she’ll have work to do. The eerie and unnerving thing about this song is that it sounds so joyless, a rote description of passion with none of the passion in its delivery. Much like “Friday,” no matter how much the singer smiles in the video, it still sounds disconcertingly inhuman.
Jonathan Bogart: I still wish she sang without the little hiccuppy tics, the too-prevalent wrenching-her-voice-out-of-her-throat affectation that I guess is supposed to mean she really feels it, but if I got used to Britney Spears, I can deal here too. Because the rest of the song fulfills the electropop promise of “Naturally,” a deliberately artificial construct that reflects back only its own plastic artifice, recursive to the point of infinity. Can love songs love? Do they dream of electric sheep? Long after humanity extinguishes itself, this will drift from dead satellite to dead satellite, a robot record of itself.
Isabel Cole: I love this like a… wait, no I don’t.