“I’m reborn in every moment, so who knows what I’ll become,” Selena Gomez declares at the outset of Revival, her second album as a solo artist. Gomez had gone through a lot since the 2013 release of her first full-length, Stars Dance: She had moved on from Disney-owned Hollywood Records to pop powerhouse Interscope; her on-and-off relationship with fellow ex-teenpopper Justin Bieber was under scrutiny from the press and fans; and she had been diagnosed with lupus, which resulted in her canceling part of Stars Dance’s attendant world tour. In the run-up to Revival’s release, Gomez told Women’s Wear Daily that the album would have “a little darkness in it.” Compared to the brightly hued Stars Dance, Revival does represent a shift in mood, with Gomez—credited as one of the album’s co-executive producers—bringing together electro beats and brooding vibes in a way that shows her evolving artistry and maturity. Even on tracks where she unleashes her voice at full force, like the spiky kiss-off “Same Old Love” and the powerful “Sober” (a swirling broadside at a lover struggling with addiction), Gomez is coming from a cooler, more questioning place, with the singer guarding herself against reliving the painful experiences she’s already endured. The songs where Gomez fully cocoons herself in atmospheric synths and persistent beats remain some of the most effective in the singer’s discography, with her steely presence giving an enigmatic charge to the proceedings. “Hands to Myself” contrasts its relentless beat with Gomez’ whispered confessions of urges she has despite her associates’ advice, adding a forbidden-fruit excitement to the track; on “Good for You,” she sounds entranced by the possibility of luring a lover into her circle, with guest rapper A$AP Rocky’s forceful verse underscoring the way she harnesses her feminine wiles into a stealth weapon. On Revival, Gomez plays with her image—as a pop star, as a woman in the public eye, as a lover—while realizing that she can derive some power from keeping some things close to her heart.