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When the Sun Goes Down

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Album Review

You’d be forgiven if you thought Selena Gomez & the Scene’s third album in three years, 2011's When the Sun Goes Down, might show signs of a dip in quality control due to cranking out albums so quickly. You’d be wrong, though, because When the Sun Goes Down is actually an improvement over 2010's Year Without Rain. Where that record tried to position Gomez as a more serious and adult artist with varying levels of success, here she’s back to mostly being a young and breezy, happy-go-lucky pop singer. With a couple exceptions, the songs are sassier, lighter, and more fun. Her vocals are more spirited, the arrangements less reliant on heavy synths, and overall, there’s a more playful feeling to the record that’s more in keeping with her first album. She bubbles her way through dancefloor-friendly tracks like “Bang Bang Bang” and “That’s More Like It,” smolders a little (on her duet with Pixie Lott “We Own the Night” and "Middle of Nowhere"), and comes on like a convincing disco diva on “Hit the Lights.” The only stumble is the overly earnest empowerment anthem “Who Says,” which comes off a little stiff and out of place. It’s a tiny speck of a flaw though; the rest is really solid and fun modern pop with sharp hooks and a couple surprises, namely the stomping jam “Whiplash,” which channels Goldfrapp’s electro glam and throws in a charmingly odd spoken word section that for some reason is done with a British-y accent. It adds some welcome weirdness to an otherwise straightforward record, and shows how easily and successfully she can slip into different personas and styles. Perhaps a bit too easily, as ultimately, Gomez has yet to stake out an identify all her own: a point driven home in the album’s booklet, which features Gomez in a series of images of her in different guises, from Ann-Margret-style sex kitten to 1930s film star. She seems to be acting out the songs, more than actually feeling the emotions she’s singing about. Which is perfectly fine for disposable pop albums, but if she wants to make a real impact, she’ll need to dig a little deeper or stake out her own territory. That’s for the future, though. For now, as long as she makes records as good and as much fun as When the Sun Goes Down, everything will be fine.

Customer Reviews


Disney needs to stop trying to manufacture artists! Just because they star on a Disney channel show doesn't mean they need a recording deal! Her voice is decent when they don't try to autotune it, but sadly that seems to be what they did for almost all songs. I don't mind that she doesn't write her own material, but please, girl, try to at least pick good songs! ho Says is still a beautiful song with a great message though-at least they got 1 thing right.

She never disappoints.

I've been waiting for this album for such a long time and it was definitely worth it. It's an amazing album. "A Year Without Year" was one of my favourite albums because it was well put together and I can definitely say that "When the Sun Goes Down" lived up to my expectations. I love every song, most especially "Middle of Nowhere", "My Dilemma" and "We Own The Night". She has definitely established her own style of music and I wish her well in the future.

I love this album

Selena this album is amazing I LOVE it I love every single song u rock :) :) :)

When the Sun Goes Down, Selena Gomez & The Scene
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Customer Ratings