The latest addition to the singer’s discography, following 2013’s Stars Dance and 2015’s Revival, is her strongest yet, with elements of pop, electronic, R&B and even rock music. It is also her most autobiographical project yet, as she reflects on her splits from Justin Bieber and The Weeknd as well as her mental health.
“Honestly, this album was kind of a nightmare to deal with, but in the best way possible,” Gomez, 27, admitted in a recent interview with Spotify. “I thought that I was so ready, like, two years ago [to release it]. … I had collected all of these sessions, beautiful sessions, that I don’t even remember half of them [now] because it evolved each year. And then something would happen to me and it would be very drastic, so it would take me somewhere else. And then all of a sudden, I found this healing, and I saw something bigger than what I thought I was. And I think that also added the whole end of the album.”
Rare includes collaborations with rappers 6LACK and Kid Cudi, the latter of whom the Disney Channel alum raved about working with.
“I’ll never forget my session with Scott — Kid Cudi — because, obviously, I’m a huge fan,” she told Spotify. “But he definitely took the song that I had and turned it into something unbelievable. It was nothing when I sent him the song — actually, technically, someone sent it without my permission at first because I was scared. But it’s OK. It worked out. I said, ‘I purely trust you with this.’ And I think that was super exciting for him.”
Below, Us Weekly decodes the lyrics to all 13 songs on the standard version of Rare. (The Target exclusive and international editions include five additional tracks: “Bad Liar,” “Fetish,” “It Ain’t Me,” “Back to You” and “Wolves,” all of which were previously released and expertly analyzed by fans, and therefore omitted below.)