I remember the singles from the music videos and the ether, I guess, but that was a bit of a surprise to me. Frankly, all I remembered about Selena was that she died young. Like anyone who died young, there has been a lot of hagiographic “what if” since. But I’ve paid little attention to it because she was a pop singer.
The material is definitely catchier than I was expecting. I was expecting the two singles I remembered (out of six total) to be very clearly superior to the rest of it. And that’s true to some extent but but the rest of the material is catchier than on a lot of these pop albums.
The vibe is very much Latin plus R&B but there are a few songs that stray from the formula and I suspect that this has something to do with the vide range of sources for the material: Selena co-wrote some – one with David Byrne…weird! – her brother wrote or co-wrote some, and some were contributed by professional songwriters. (It’s a testament to Selena and her brother that there isn’t a giant drop-off between the professional songwriters’ material and theirs’. The David Byrne song is probably the best thing here, though, which should not surprise any of us.)
Selena’s voice is better than I remembered it being. (I guess I didn’t pay much attention.) And she is capable of singing a relative variety of styles. (Like any pop album from this era, the diversity is relative.) It’s easier to understand her reputation when listening to a full album which shows off her abilities better than the two big singles.
Honestly, it could be a lot worse: there’s some variety and the material is mostly catchy enough (and sometimes quite catch). I’ll never listen to this again but I’d definitely rather listen to it than some ’90s pop and R&B.