Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. Both 22-years-old (and former childhood co-stars of Barney and Friends and Disney alums). Also, two singer/actresses that have released new music singles that evoke sentiments of casual sex, hot sex, makeup sex and arisen newfound confidence and I cannot deal. When did all this happen! (And not the showcase of confident part. That’s great. But the sex talk. I feel like a nagging, over protective older sister. “Girls, can we talk…?” And have their fans grown at the same pace and understanding?)
Gomez began hinting at sexual innuedos through her 2013 song “Come and Get It”, though it was still comfortably more flirtatious than direct. On her new single “Good For You”, there are no suggestions of “Maybe you can get this.” It’s a straight-forward affirmation of apologies and forgiveness in the form of carnal interaction, preluded by premeditated titillation.
Gomez sings the track in a deliberately breathy tone that relics of Lana Del Rey on even her most self-assured days on wax (cue: “Carmen.“) She fearlessly whispers away and washes herself in minx-like sensibilities and it’s kind of thrilling to witness from the helplessly baby-faced star:
“Gonna wear that dress you like, skin-tight
Do my hair up real, real nice
And syncopate my skin to your heart beating.”
(Plenty of brownies to the songwriters for somehow integrating the word “syncopate” into a pop song).
“Cause I just wanna look good for you, good for you
I just wanna look good for you, good for you
Let me show you how proud I am to be yours
Leave this dress a mess on the floor
And still look good for you, good for you.”
Leave that dress a mess on the floor? No pearls on today, so I placed a hand on my chest.
The composition of the track is unique really too, with an interesting usage of the phrase “the Midas touch” to its playful take on what means to wear Tiffany and Co. It’s important to note that whole packaging of the song is from the perspective of Gomez owning her sexuality and decisions. Nothing about feels like she was being coerced to make herself act like a good girl gone wonton.
After the sadness she evoked of her autobiographical goodbye letter to love (for now) on “The Heart Wants What It Wants”, Carey Mahoney of USA Today felt that she brought “the fire” on her “slick new jam about feeling sexy…” and Mark Iraheta of Pigeons and Planes commented that it was “a change of pace from what you may have heard from her in the past.” Yessuh, it is.
(the video is the mellowed remix and is without A$AP Rocky‘s rap verse).
And then there’s Demi Lovato. Lovato, whose afflictions with substance abuse, eating disorders and depression have been documented by a curious media, eager to know how another Disney almost fell off the cliff, is taking the reins on her formerly disheartened haze and is ready to inspire and share free-spirited good times and vibes.
Lovato confirmed this during her interview with On Air with Ryan Seacreast, stating: “I’m no longer serious! I’m so done with the sob stories and the tales. Like, new chapter, new life, new album, new single. This is a completely new Demi.”
She also noted that “Cool for the Summer” will be one of a few “provocative singles” on her upcoming album. We’re definitely prepared to hear the rest of her more mature offerings, considering she did not hold back with lyrics like “I gotta taste for the cherry, I just wanna take a bite”, a clear double entendre, leaning towards the sapphic. But you gotta give it to Lovato. Lines like, “Don’t be scared ’cause I’m your body type”, from “Cool for the Summer” are unexpected and bold.
Some listeners instantly compared its structure to Jessie J‘s “Domino” and Katy Perry‘s “I Kissed A Girl”, but truthfully Lovato is doing her own thing here. This new single is a loud coming out party for her as a young woman in every sense and stage of this moment (“I just wanna play with you, too. Even if they judge. Fuck it. I’ll do the time. I just wanna have some fun with you.“) And sonically, it’s a rock/pop bonanza with a mean guitar riff within the chorus and splashes of what feels like R&B meets EDM.
The video shows the singer letting loose too. Lovato is wearing a cut-out catsuit, thigh-high fishnet heels, she writhes on a bed in baby blue lingerie and parties all the way out in what looks to be a downtown L.A. rave.
Like Mike Wass wrote for Idolator, witnessing Lovato re-invent herself “frivolous and fun” is great. “As much as I love her power ballads and inspiring anthems, the earnestness of Demi [with songs like “Heart Attack”] was a little overwhelming at times.”
Bottom line here is: keeping getting it Dem.