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

Track Review

Selena Gomez has a boy on the brain, one she's recently broken up with.

She's halfheartedly trying to convince someone (Herself? Him?) otherwise, that she's really not thinking about him very much. But it's hard to put on a casual face when the feelings under the surface are anything but. Which is why Selena dubs herself a "bad liar" in this song: she's not very good at pretending she doesn't still care.

Not very good at all.

Nature Abhors a Vacuum

"I was walking down the street the other day/Tryna distract myself," Gomez begins. That's easier said than done, apparently. "But then I see your face," she sings. "Oh wait, that's someone else."

She'd like to shake off the memory: "Tryna play it coy/Tyrna make it disappear/ … I'm tryin', I'm tryin'/Not to think about you." But … she's failing, comparing her tempestuous emotions to an epic conflagration: "But just like the Battle of Troy/There's nothing subtle here."

Her former flame's absence prompts Selena to offer him a chance to retake his former place: in her bed. "In my room there's a king-size space/Bigger than it used to be." Then she adds even more suggestively, "If you want, you can rent the place/Call me an amenity." That latter line is among the raciest in the song, and definitely a self-objectifying one.

And the Guy?

Selena's ex sounds like he might be having second thoughts, too. "I see how your attention builds/It's like looking in a mirror," Gomez sings to him. "What could possibly happen next?" she wonders. "Could we focus on love?"

After that question, Selena's lyrics take a second sensual turn. "Paint my kiss across your chest," she sings. "Be the art, I'll be the brush." By song's end, she's dispensed with pretense ("With my feelings on fire/Guess I'm a bad liar") and is begging her once-and-perhaps-future beau to give romance with her another shot: "And oh, baby, let's make reality, actuality, a reality."

As pop songs from pop divas go, "Bad Liar" is hardly squeaky clean. But it doesn't go nearly as far lyrically as the risqué video does visually.

Bondage, Lingerie and … Suicide?

The video, initially available only on the Spotify app and looking as if it was filmed on a smart phone, finds Gomez wriggling and writhing around erotically in revealing lingerie. Her hands are tied with lace, suggesting some kind of bondage is in the mix here.

Meanwhile, keen cultural observers have noted that Gomez is wearing what looks to be a hospital ID tag and a bandage taped to her wrist—cues suggesting a possible message related to suicide. That important topic has been the focus of the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which Gomez co-produced.

But if these fairly subtle symbols are supposed to deliver a positive or redemptive message about surviving a suicide attempt, it's pretty unclear what it is. Mostly, the video for this middling problematic song seems like yet another steamy opportunity for Gomez to distance herself from her Disney past by embracing an image that's closer to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

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

Top 25 iTunes track.

Record Label

Interscope

Platform

Publisher

Released

May 18, 2017

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Adam R. Holz

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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