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Track Review

Perhaps it's appropriate that Selena Gomez's latest hit landed just a few days before Halloween. This song—a beat-filled collaboration with electronic dance music DJ Marshmello—tells the story of a woman who's haunted.

She's not literally haunted, mind you. There are no ghosts or goblins, specters or spirits lurking about. No, Selena's haunted by the memory of a feeling, a feeling so strong that she's been looking for it ever since the fateful, romantic night she first felt it.

Feel It Again?

Gomez gives us a simple story. Once upon a time, a young woman had an enchanted, emotionally intoxicating night with a young man: "I wanna feel the way that we did that summer night, night/Drunk on a feeling, alone with the stars in the sky."

It's an evening, we learn later in the song, that—not surprisingly—including some memorable touching: "Your fingertips trace my skin/To places I have never been," Gomez sings. "Blindly I am following/Break down these walls and come on in."

Ever since, she's been trying to capture that emotion again. Alas, that journey has taken her some shadowy places she might otherwise like to forget. "I've been running through the jungle/I've been running with the wolves/To get to you, to get to you," she sings to the long-lost object of her affection. "I've been down the darkest alleys/Saw the dark side of the moon/To get to you, to get to you."

The second half of the thrice-repeated chorus hints at futile flings with anonymous partners ("I've looked for love in every stranger") that haven't helped her cope ("Took too much to ease the anger") and left her emotionally broken ("I've been crying with the wolves/To get to you, to get to you").

But still she seeks to recapture that elusive, ecstatic emotional connection, one that haunts her still.

The Ghost of Justin Past?

Look, if you've followed Selena Gomez's career even casually, it's impossible (well, for this observer, anyway) to listen to this song and not think about Gomez's former flame, Justin Bieber. And as providence would have it, they have reportedly been seen spending time together once again the very week this single dropped. (Never mind that Gomez has filled many pages of interviewers' notebooks with renunciations and denunciations of the volatile relationship.)

Honestly, I don't know if this song is about Justin Bieber or not. What the song is obviously about, however, is an experience so powerful that she can't help but return to the memory of it. In this case, that experience probably contained a sexual component. Lines hinting at that aspect of that fateful night remind us of the tremendous bonding power of sexual experiences.

Our culture often minimizes sexual relationships as "natural" or "fun." Sex, mainstream society says, isn't something that we need to get too hung up on. Gomez's latest, however, reveals (albeit perhaps unintentionally) the lie in that way of thinking: Sexual bonding can be deeply soul-shaping. And if the relationship is torn asunder, the haunting memories of that bond—and what it felt like—can be difficult to shake.

Indeed, the minimalist (and perhaps teaser/placeholder) video for this song alternates between a close-up of Selena's intense face, and a vision of her from a camera that's nearly underwater as she sits, knees up and forlorn, on a lifeguard's chair. She looks haunted, not happy, in her quest to reclaim a feeling that now evades her.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Top 10 iTunes track.

Record Label

Interscope

Platform

Publisher

Released

October 25, 2017

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Adam R. Holz

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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