Selena Gomez Drops New Album 'Rare': All the Lyrics Fans Think Are About Justin Bieber
By Desiree Murphy & Liz Calvario
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Selena Gomez is singing her heart out on her new album, Rare.
The 27-year-old singer may have just dropped her third studio album on Jan. 10, but fans are already starting to try and decode the hidden meanings behind her most vulnerable lyrics and relatable songs.
Gomez's previously released tracks, "Lose You to Love Me" and "Look at Her Now," brought to life the real emotions she was feeling during her journey from heartbreak to self-discovery, and the rest of the album does a good job at providing all the missing pieces. It's clear she's ready to move on to her next chapter, and find her "Sweeter Place."
"The new music is going to be a different side of Selena and very personal," a source teased to ET last summer. "Selena has gone through a lot over the years and is ready to share it with the world."
Now, ET is breaking down all the songs and lyrics Selenators believe could be about Justin Bieber, and the on-again, off-again romance they shared for years before the pop star moved on with (and married) Hailey Baldwin.
The lyrics to Gomez's title track say it all: She sees her self-worth, even when others don't. The song seems to tell a story about being in a relationship with someone who doesn't put in as much effort or see the other person's true value.
"Baby, you've been so distant from me lately / And lately, don't even wanna call you baby," she sings. "Baby right now it feels like, it feels like you don't care / Why don't you recognize I'm so rare? / Always there / You don't do the same for me / That's not fair."
"I'm not gonna beg for you / I'm not gonna let you make me cry," she continues. "Not getting enough from you / Didn't you know I'm hard to find?"
Fans believe Gomez was writing about feeling taken advantage of by Bieber, as she was a constant force in his life since 2010.
"Happiness ain't something you sit back and wait for / confidence is throwing your heart through every brick wall," sings Gomez in the second track, which is all about being in a happier place.
"Feels so good to dance again / Feels so, feels so, feels so, feels so good to dance again," she sings about getting her groove back.
"I kickstart the rhythm, all the dramas in remission," she continues, later adding: "Vulnerable / Ain't easy, believe me, but I go there / It's like I'm ten feet tall / I'm high off the weight off them shoulders."
Naturally, fans couldn't help but interpret it as Gomez finally leaving her past with Bieber behind and ready to take on the world."
"LOOK AT HER NOW"
This track seems to explore the same themes of moving on from a failed romance, only with lyrics seemingly written in third-person and a much higher-energy vibe.
Fans who thought Gomez's "Lose You to Love Me" was actually about her past relationship with Bieber are likely going to hear more of the same in this tune, only instead of lamenting about the pain of needing to move on in the name of self-love, "Look At Her Now," explores the confidence that can be regained when you find yourself again after a split.
"Of course she was sad / but now she's glad, she dodged a bullet," Gomez sings. "It took a few years to soak up the tears, but look at her now."
Some of the song's early lyrics seem to tell of a painful romance that resulted in feelings of betrayal.
"They fell in love one summer / A little too wild for each other / Shiny till it wasn’t / Feels good till it doesn’t," Gomez sings. "It was her first real lover / His too till he had another / Oh god when she found out / Trust levels went way down."
However, the song seems to be about coming back even stronger after dealing with pain, and ends on a note of independence and confidence: "She knows she’ll find love / Only if she wants it / She knows she’ll find love / On the up from the way down / Look at her now."
"LOSE YOU TO LOVE ME"
As Gomez witnessed Bieber's marriage story with Baldwin play out in the press and on social media, she knew the love they shared had officially come to an end in 2018. All of those feelings seemingly come through on this track, which is arguably her most heartwrenching song on the album.
"I gave my all and they all know it / Then you tore me down and now it's showing," Gomez sings. "In two months, you replaced us / Like it was easy / Made me think I deserved it / In the thick of healing, yeah."
"I saw the signs and I ignored it / Rose-colored glasses all distorted," she adds. "Set fire to my purpose / And I let it burn."
Jelena fans couldn't help themselves from pointing out Gomez's use of the word "purpose," which is the name of Bieber's fourth studio album.
Throughout this track, Gomez sings about falling into the same situation over and over. Fans were quick to point out Bieber references in this track, as it's what the two did for years -- briefly breaking up only to get back together again.
"If I give you every piece of me, I know that you could drop it / Give you the chance, I know that you could take advantage once you got it," she sings. "If I open up my heart to you, I know that you could lock it / Throw away the key, and keep it there forever in your pocket."
"If I show you all my demons, and we dive into the deep end / Would we crash and burn like every time before?" she continues. "I would tell you all my secrets, wrap your arms around my weakness / If the only other option's letting go."
"PEOPLE YOU KNOW"
Fans argue that the lyrics "You are runnin' through me like water / Now the feeling's leavin' me dry" are also a not-so-subtle reference to Bieber moving on to Baldwin so quickly after they called it quits for the last time in 2018.
"So many wasted nights with you / I still could taste it. I hate it, wish I could take it back 'cause we use to be close," she sings, "But people can go / From people you know to people you don't. / And what hurts the most is people can go / From people you know to people you don't."
"When it was good, we were on fire / Now I'm breathin' ashes and dust," she continues. "I always wanna get higher / I never know when enough is enough."
"LET ME GET ME"
"No self-sabotage, no letting my thoughts run. Me and the spiral are done," Gomez sings on this track. "Burn this camouflage I've been wearing for months / Tryna let a little happy in for once."
"Diving in ferociously, dancing intimately, I'm so connected to me," she adds. "In the dark, I'm letting go, so anonymously / I guess this is what it feels like to be free."
As fans listened to this catchy tune for the first time, some found similarities in Gomez's song "Camouflage" (off her Revival album), which they also believed was about Bieber. "I got so much s**t to say but I can't help feeling like I'm camouflage / Fortress around my heart," she sang in the 2015 hit. "You were mine just yesterday / Now I have no idea who you are / It’s like you camouflage."
"CROWDED ROOM" feat. 6lack
The track may not seem like a heartbreak song, but more of a reflection of how Gomez felt at the beginning of a relationship.
"It started polite, out on thin ice / Till you came over to break it / I threw you a line and you were mine / Yeah, I was afraid, but you made it safe," she details. "I guess that is our combination / Said you feel lost, well, so do I."
"So won't you call me in the morning? / I think that you should call me in the morning / If you feel the same, 'cause / Baby, it's just me and you," she continues, before she notes that after they were "engulfed in the flames / Engulfed in the shame / Betrayed by your imagination / In over my head, but that's alright."
Perhaps at one point, Gomez knew what she was getting herself into, but just couldn't resist.
It's evident from this tune that Gomez's relationship with a certain someone suddenly went from good to bad, which has fans thinking she's referencing Bieber's potential change in attitude towards her.
"I think you're kind of crazy / And not the good kind, baby / 'Cause you're actin' super shady / You know it, you know it / Been dodgin' phone calls lately / But still textin' me, 'Baby," she croons, before adding that the man in question was "lying' just for fun."
Later in the song, Gomez makes it clear that this person made the first move, talking to her and asking her to be his "babe." "And now you're treatin' me like I'm insane / You're insane."
"CUT YOU OFF"
The second to last song is all about becoming fed up and finally deciding to move on from a toxic lover.
"And I might as well just tell you while I'm drunk, yeah / The truth is that I think I've had enough / Professionally messin' with my trust / How could I confuse that sh*t for love?" she delivers the line, before adding, "So I gotta get you out my head now / I just cut you off."
Gomez then explains that when she's not with this person she doesn't overthink and carries on with her life. As fans know, and have been witnessing, the singer has indeed cut off her ex and looking ahead -- which takes us to "A Sweeter Place."
"A SWEETER PLACE" feat. Kid Cudi
The last song on the album seems to allude to Gomez finally coming to peace with being on her own and finding "a sweeter place." Fans believe the lyrics symbolize the feeling she felt when her head and her heart moved on from Bieber for good.
"You really wanna know where I've been all this time / So let me tell ya," she sings. "Got two feet on the ground and felt what real is like / What it was like livin' out of the scene, out in the water / Learnin' to breathe / Up in the clouds, far from the crowds."
"We will find our way, we'll find the things we seek / Ooh we, you see I'm mesmerized," Cudi adds later in the song. "Place is just for me and I am cutting ties / Goodbye."