Selena Gomez's 'Stars Dance': What the Critics Are Saying

8:00 AM PST 07/23/2013 by Mia Galuppo

The "Wizards of Waverly Place" alum was unable to cast a spell on underwhelmed music critics.

The reviews are in for Selena Gomez's new album, Stars Dance, and they're not all pretty.

Many critics focus on the schizophrenic genre bending of Gomez's over-produced album, which saw the former Disney darling working with hitmakers like Rock Mafia, Stargate and the The Cataracs and features everything from dubstep to Jamaican beats to Bhangra.  

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USA Today critic Brian Mansfield gave Stars Dance a lukewarm two-and-a-half stars.

"Gomez is making more commercially viable music now, but she's still only as good as her producers," he wrote. "The dance-pop sound they've built for her brings in lots of outside elements, including Bhangra, dancehall and dubstep."

The Guardian's Hermione Hoby was more critical of Gomez, giving the starlet only two stars and writing that her tracks "sound like songs Rihanna rejected." Indeed, Hoby noted, the album's lead single "Come & Get It" was, in fact, a Rih Rih reject. "Someone should tell Ms. Gomez that pop princesses don't accept leftovers," she zinged.

Ron Harris, in his Huffington Post review, bashed the star for the her lack of artistic input on her fourth album, not having written or co-written any of the songs herself.

"Artistically, there's very little Selena Gomez here. This is merely the veneer of Selena Gomez, the look and feel of the pop starlet set atop a middling musical effort."

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Harris goes on to write that the song "Come & Get It," the Rihanna reject, is the best that Stars Dance has to offer.

While Gomez and her high-profile ex-flame Justin Bieber have parted ways, Newsday's Glenn Gamboa believes that the track "Love Will Remember" will find the most commercial success. Fans wonder: Is she singing about the Biebs?

"The voicemail at the start of 'Love Will Remember' -- which may or may not be Bieber telling her, 'You are my princess' -- is a savvy way of drawing attention to what is her best performance and will likely be the album's biggest hit," he wrote.

But it's not all bad news for Gomez. Tim Sendra of AllMusic praises her willingness to explore multiple musical genres, as well as her vocal prowess.

"Thanks to the strong songs, Selena's reliably strong vocals, and the variety of sounds, it adds up to be another fine entry in her catalog and just another example of why Selena Gomez is one of the best pop stars making music in 2013."

Stars Dance is out July 23 via Hollywood Records.

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