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Album Review

Most tweens know 17-year-old Selena Gomez for her role as teen witch Alex Russo on The Wizards of Waverly Place. But it might surprise those young fans to know she broke into show biz at the tender age of 9 on Barney & Friends, singing, "I love you, you love me …"

It’s safe to say you won’t find a cover of that ditty on Kiss & Tell, a sassy pop/rock CD about which the young UNICEF ambassador said, "I wanted to make music that was fun and empowering, and I wanted the parents to like it, too. If your foot isn’t moving or if your head isn’t shaking during my songs, then I’ve failed."

But the real question is whether, like fellow Disney Channel stars Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, Selena straddles the line between family-friendly entertainer and sensual starlet.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Selena refuses to let naysayers keep her from pursuing her dreams on "Tell Me Something I Don’t Know." She celebrates a complementary romantic attraction that comes "Naturally." Although drama and angst are pretty thick most of the time, Selena often rails triumphantly against young men who’ve done her wrong as she convinces herself that she’s better off without them ("I Don’t Miss You at All," "Stop & Erase," "Kiss & Tell," "Crush," "I Won’t Apologize"). On the latter, she sings, "I won’t apologize for who I am." The love song "I Promise You" gushes over a special guy, pledging faithfulness and respect ("I’ll never let you down/I’ll always hear you out"). However …

Objectionable Content

Selena’s devotion is based largely on giddy feelings and the rush of physical affection ("When it’s right it’s right and this is it/I’m walking on air every single time that we kiss"). "The Way I Loved You" suggests that no relationship could ever surpass the emotional transcendence of a girl’s (now lost) first love.

Bored with what she sees in the mirror, Selena impulsively seeks change for the sake of change, opting to take a "walk on the other side," make "some new mistakes" and change her hair color to be more enticing ("As a Blonde"). A breakup frees her to "go out seven nights a week … and party like I never did before" ("I Don’t Miss You at All").

Elsewhere, she takes pleasure in the misfortunes of an ex ("Falling Down"). On "More," she propositions a boy in a way that, while not explicitly sexual, could be interpreted that way as the couple is enraptured by music and dancing ("All the way, 101%, touchdown/… Take me there, take me there/Let’s go, whatcha wanna wait for?").

"Tell Me Something I Don’t Know" refers to a Cold Medina, a vodka cocktail. In one CD photo, Gomez (surrounded by suitors) wears fishnet stockings and reveals a bit of cleavage.

Summary Advisory

The hip-hop duo New Boyz has a Top 40 song called "You’re a Jerk." Selena Gomez isn’t quite that blunt with the guys who’ve wronged her, but she spends much of Kiss & Tell ranting, venting and assuring those self-absorbed, two-timing cads that she’s already over them.

That recurring girl-power theme and a some sweet love songs give way to (ambiguously) irresponsible carpe diem moments, an apparent nod to alcohol and an immodest photo or two.

There’s nothing overtly sexual here, but the love-torn Gomez (who thanks her "Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" in the liner notes) obsesses over things that her Disney Channel devotees are too young to be worrying about.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Genre

PopRock

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Selena’s freshman effort debuted at No. 9 on Billboard’s album chart.

Record Label

Hollywood

Platform

Publisher

Released

September 29, 2009

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Smithouser

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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