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Selena Gomez – 'Stars Dance' album review

Borrowing drops from Skrillex and vocals from Rihanna, the former Disney kid struggles to establish her identity

‘My band and I are going our separate ways for a while. This year is all about films,’ announced Selena Gomez via her Facebook wall only last February. Yet by September she was already back in the studio, except without her band The Scene, with whom she's released three albums.

Now the former Disney kid is going solo, dumping the trashy Euro-pop beats of her teens in the process. These days she’s all dubstep drops (no doubt inspired by the Skrillex soundtrack to her last film ‘Spring Breakers’) and Rihanna B-sides (well, she did work with the same production team). But it’s not just the ‘na na nas’, ‘rum pa pa pumpas’, or even the dancehall/reggae inflections (‘Like a Champion’) that reek of Ri Ri; Gomez even adopts something close to a Bajan accent.

It’s all a bit karaoke considering the 21-year-old singer was born and raised in Texas. And when she’s not being Rihanna, she’s being Ellie Goulding, as on the record's breathy title track where she comes close to Goulding's nasal tone. ‘Stars Dance’ is full of personality. It’s just a shame none of it belongs to Selena Gomez. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.

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