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Interview:
Selena Gomez grows up with new album
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

If Selena Gomez thinks she sounds a bit happier on “When the Sun Goes Down,” her third album with her band the Scene, then she just might.



Any guesses why?



The 19-year-old singer-actress — until recently the star of the Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” and also the lead in the summer feature film “Monte Carlo” — doesn’t come right out and say that her well-chronicled relationship with teen popstar Justin Bieber is responsible for the tone of “When the Sun Goes Down,” which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. But she does acknowledge that it reflects “the place I’m in” these days.



“I guess it’s more positive, which I haven’t really done a lot of,” says Gomez, who’s notched Top 40 hits with songs such as “Naturally,” “Round & Round,” “A Year Without Rain” and, from the new album, “Who Says” and “Love You Like a Love Song.”



“Most of my records are kind of intense breakup songs, and they are a little repetitive when it comes to what I’m singing about. On this (album) they’re really uplifting songs about summer and being able to be present and be happy with where you are and enjoying the moment. There’s a couple of songs that are a little bit more about a breakup, but other than that it’s just a really empowering record.”



Gomez says the creative mission of “When the Sun Goes Down” was “to age me up without making me any different.” She co-wrote two songs on the album — “Bang Bang Bang” and the title track, the latter with the Scene’s bass player Joey Clement. Britney Spears was part of the composing team on “Whiplash,” while Katy Perry and Billy Steinberg share credits for “That’s More Like It.”



Gomez also wanted to grow her live shows up a bit this year, and she’s crafted something “very different” with the Scene during the seven-week tour the group started in late July.



“We’re dividing it into four sections,” Gomez explains. “We’re going to have wardrobe changes. There’s going to be dancers — I will not be dancing most of the time. They’ll just be back there getting the crowd pumped up. We’re going to have fun screens in the background.



“It’s just gonna be a huge party. I wanted to make it like a PG-13 rave.”



Selena Gomez & the Scene and Allstar Weekend perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are sold out. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.



Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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