While the 27-year-old singer introduced her new work with a record-breaking ballad (“Lose You to Love Me”), the rest of Gomez’s album is packed with upbeat breakup and self-love anthems.
Names are never specifically dropped on the album, but Gomez — simultaneously defiant, vulnerable (literally), flirty and biting — included plenty of juicy hints in wide-ranging lyrics that set social media on fire after Rare‘s release.
“Every song on the record has some sort of emotion or conflict or there’s something going on,” Gomez told PEOPLE exclusively before the album dropped. “I related to everything on this record very, very clearly.”
Her title track “Rare” sets the tone for the rest of the album, which often has her questioning a lover about the way she’s treated. “It feels like you don’t care / Why don’t you recognize I’m so rare?” she asks.
“If I show you all my demons and we dive into the deep end / Would we crash and burn like every time before?” she asks on the track.
On “Cut You Off,” perhaps the album’s most scorching track, the star officially bids adieu to a toxic ex and embraces a future without extra weight.
“Pull up to the mirror staring at my face / Gotta chop, chop all the extra weight I’ve been carrying for fourteen-hundred-sixty days,” she sings, possibly referencing the four years she spent on and off with Bieber.
selena gomez - cut you off (rare)— jeff (@tianasfenty) January 10, 2020
lyrics: “i've been carrying it for fourteen-hundred and sixty days?”
“how could i confuse that shit for love?"
jelena = lasted 4 years
1460 days = 4 years#RareOutNow
“Professionally messing with my trust / How could I confuse that s— for love?” continues Gomez on the song.
Then on “Kinda Crazy,” the entertainer calls out an ex-flame for “acting super shady.” Sings the star: “Been dodging phone calls lately but still texting me baby / Yeah, I think you’re kinda crazy.”
Is kinda crazy about the weeknd like I think it is? #RARElisteningParty— 2021 AFRICA (@2021AFRICA) January 10, 2020
Ahead of Rare‘s release, Gomez opened up about working hard to get to a healthier and happier place emotionally, and the through line on her album is a newfound confidence — one that her fans are all about.
#Rare is literally @selenagomez ‘s best body of work. this album is truly an experience ! i’m so proud of her and so happy to have been on this journey of finding love and happiness within herself again. 4 years well waited❤️— tragic ! 🧡 (@MarcLVJS) January 10, 2020
“I feel like I’ve kind of found my way a bit more. Every year I’m constantly growing, and this time I actually recognize it and appreciate it,” Gomez previously told PEOPLE. “I just want everything to be great, and I think [‘A Sweeter Place’] represents where I’m at, which is I needed to find a better place for me.”