Kiss & Tell (Selena Gomez & the Scene album)

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Kiss & Tell
Studio album by Selena Gomez & the Scene
Released September 29, 2009 (2009-09-29)
(see release history)
Recorded December 2008—July 2009
Genre
Length 42:20
Label Hollywood
Producer
Selena Gomez & the Scene chronology
Kiss & Tell
(2009)
A Year Without Rain
(2010)
Singles from Kiss & Tell
  1. "Falling Down"
    Released: August 25, 2009
  2. "Naturally"
    Released: February 1, 2010

Kiss & Tell is the debut studio album by American band Selena Gomez & the Scene. It was released on September 29, 2009 by Hollywood Records. Selena Gomez formed the band as she stated she did not want to become a solo artist quite yet. Staffwriters were hired to write all the lyrics, as Gomez co-wrote only one track. The band worked with several writers and producers on the album including Gina Schock of the The Go-Go's. Their work with Schock received a warm reception from musical critics, most of which praised the tracks worked on by Schock. The album received mixed reviews from music critics: although the album was praised, several critics had a somewhat negative reception towards Gomez's vocal performance, in light of a critically panned performance on Dancing with the Stars, on which the band performed to promote the album.

The album has spawned two singles, the lead single "Falling Down" and "Naturally". "Falling Down" failed to chart well, however, it did peak at number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single has become a hit in Japan, peaking at number 15, their only top 20 hit in the country to date. The second single, "Naturally" proved to be more successful. It topped the Hot Dance Club Play chart in the US and peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it their first top 40 hit in that country. The single was also an international success, reaching the top 20 in 14 countries, including Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The album was met with a strong commercial performance. Kiss & Tell debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200, selling 66,000 copies in the first week. It later climbed to a peak of 47 on the Year-End albums chart. It peaked at number twenty-two on the Canadian Albums Chart after the success of "Naturally". The album was a worldwide success as well, entering the top 10 in countries such as Spain, Argentina and Greece. In March 2010, the album was certified Gold in the United States, for shipments of 500,000 copies.[1] As of July 2013, Kiss & Tell has sold 908,000 copies in the United States.[2]

Background and development[edit]

In July 2008, Gomez announced to MTV News that she would be embarking on a musical career, and expressed interest in forming a band instead of a solo career.[3] After two years of recording and going over one-hundred songs, Gomez announced the name of her band.[4] She explained, "I named my band the Scene because a lot of people are making fun of me calling me a 'wannabe scene,' so I thought I would poke fun [at] that.If you can't beat 'em join 'em!."[4] She was later quoted as telling MTV News: "I basically want to make music that is fun and that parents and kids can jump around to and have a good time to, [...] I will be singing, and I'm learning drums and playing electric guitar."[5] Gomez later told MTV News that she wanted the album to be relatable to both herself and her fans.[6] A self-proclaimed "huge, huge fan" of Fefe Dobson, Gomez chose to include a cover of "As a Blonde", a song taken from Dobson's long-delayed second studio album, Sunday Love (2012).[7]

Composition[edit]

"I basically want to make music that is fun and that parents and kids can jump around to and have a good time to," she said. "I will be singing, and I'm learning drums and playing electric guitar."

— Gomez, on the album's composition

On the album's composition, Gomez stated "It's fun pop rock, and it has a dance beat to it [...] I've been working on it for two years, so let's hope that it's good.[8] Gomez called the music "fun, energetic, and empowering", going on to say: "I'm still new and still figuring out where I want to be musically. But I think this is a good start ... hopefully."[4] Musically, Kiss & Tell is composed of electro-rock and power pop songs.[9][10] The album incorporates a wide variety of musical genres into its composition such as punk pop, Latin-influenced dance, mid-tempo bubblegum pop, New Wave, and techno, while also encompassing darker themes and musical styles including emo pop on songs such as "Crush" and "I Won't Apologize".[11]

On "Kiss & Tell", a pop punk song, Gomez experiments with the use of drum and bass and jungle music, and is backed by "punkish" guitars, hand claps, and shouts of "Hey!"[12] Songs such as "Falling Down" are upbeat and pop, containing a strong use of drums and electric guitars mixed with predominant "bloopy synths".[12] During an interview, Gomez elaborated on the concept of "Falling Down" further, saying "[...] it's basically about Hollywood and what people think about it and essentially how plastic it is sometimes. It's fun and I think girls can relate to it somewhat, for me it was because of Hollywood, but it can really relate to a mean girl, an ex-boyfriend, to whoever."[13] On the song "As a Blonde", originally a Fefe Dobson song, Gomez sings in regards to trying different things and changing up her personality.[14] "Falling Down" is the first single off the album that, along with “Kiss & Tell”, have an aggressive, almost bratty, attack that borrows equally from punk attitude and pop melody.[12]"Naturally" is an electropop song that has a juicy and instantly memorable vocal hook.[15] "The Way I Loved You" is the ballad of the album.[12] "I Got U" is a pop-rock song that, according to Bill Lamb of About.com, is a "mix of sweetness and intensity that seems distinctively Selena Gomez."[12]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4/5 stars[16]
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[17]
Billboard 50/100[18]
Digital Spy 2/5 stars[19]
Entertainment Weekly (D)[20]

The album received mixed reviews from contemporary music critics. Bill Lamb of About.com commented on the album, stating "There is an energy and excitement here that is positively infectious. On a number of songs Selena Gomez works with Gina Schock, drummer of the legendary punk girl group the Go-Go's. The title song and the single "Falling Down" have an aggressive, almost bratty, attack that borrows equally from punk attitude and pop melody. The well-chosen cover here, FeFe Dobson's 'As a Blonde', positively bursts with intense, pounding force. However, even in this song Selena Gomez shows she is capable of a sweet breakdown. The lyrical subjects here are no surprise for a teen artist, but it is Gomez' delivery that makes the music fresh and fun."[21] Tim Sendra of Allmusic gave the album a positive review, commenting "Kiss & Tell" is a work of near-genius modern pop that shows off Gomez's light but surprisingly soulful vocals in a near-perfect setting. The producers and writing teams involved frame Gomez as a tougher, sassier version of the usual tween pop singer and keep the sappy ballads to a bare minimum. Instead, plenty of songs have her telling off lame boyfriends, tracks joyously detail newfound love affairs, and a good many generally rock out in a manner that might surprise a few people. Indeed, the variety of styles and sounds on the record is pretty impressive. Snappy bursts of punky pop bump up against Latin-influenced dance jams, bubblegummy midtempo ballads sit easily next to spunky new wave rockers, techno-ish dancefloor stompers lead into hopeful love songs, and Gomez is at home singing all of them."[11]

Mikael Wood of Billboard gave the album a mixed review, saying "...if Gomez wants to outlast her current context, her music could use more of her in it." However, he later on praised the album, adding, "It's not always easy to tell what distinguishes the work of this "Wizards of Waverly Place" TV star from that of her fellow Disney-factory females. That doesn't mean "Kiss & Tell" doesn't deliver its required payload of electro-rock delights. The song "Naturally" (produced by Mouse House regulars Tim James, Antonina Armato and SuperSpy) has a juicy and instantly memorable vocal hook, while the pop punk title track expertly channels the good-natured sass of the Go-Go's (no surprise, given drummer Gina Schock's co-writing credit)."[22] Entertainment Weekly criticized the album, as well as Gomez's vocal performance, saying "the multihyphenate (Gomez) has no vocal chops. On Kiss & Tell, all the slick production in the world can't erase the 'Mom! Where's my allowance money?' whine she mistakes for Avril-esque attitude".[23] Rober Copsey of Digital Spy also gave the album a negative review, when he said "unfortunately, the catchy hooks that anchor 'Naturally' are often M.I.A elsewhere on the album, with many songs coming off as saccharine, forgettable Miley/Avril/Pink hybrids."[24]

Commercial performance[edit]

Kiss & Tell debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200 selling 66,000 copies the first week.[25] It continued to remain on the chart for 52 consecutive weeks thereafter.[26] On the Billboard 2009 Year-End and 2010 Year-End albums chart, Kiss & Tell appeared at number 187[27] and 47,[28] respectively. As of December 2013, the album has sold over 1,800,000 copies worldwide.[2] The album failed to chart on the ARIA Charts but charted on the component Australian Hitseekers albums chart at number four.[29] The album also entered the top 10 in Greece, where it reached a peak of number two. The album reached the same peak on the Spanish albums chart, and later peaked at number 28 on the year-end chart in that country. In Poland, the album debuted and peaked at number 4, peaking Gomez's first chart entry in that country. The album also debuted and peaked inside the top 10 in Argentina, peaking at number 10.

Kiss & Tell debuted at 12 on the UK Albums Chart, after the top 10 debut of the single "Naturally". The album had a similar outcome in Ireland, where the album climbed up the album's chart to peak at number 14. The album also entered the top 20 in Germany, reaching a height of number 19, after second single "Naturally" began receiving heavy radio airplay. The album also reached a peak of number 20 on the Mexican albums chart. In New Zealand, the album climbed up to a peak of number 21, barely missing out on the Top 20. The album also reached a peak of 22 on both the Canadian Albums Chart and the Belgium Albums Chart. In France, the album debuted at number 24, at number 33 in Italy, and at number 36 on the Swiss Albums Chart. In Norway, the album barely made the top 40, peaking at number 38; on the Dutch Albums Chart, the album failed to have much success, only peaking at number 47.

Singles[edit]

"Falling Down" the lead single from the album, was released to Radio Disney on August 21, 2009 and later for purchase on August 25, 2009 in selected countries.[30] A music video premiered on Disney Channel on August 28, 2009.[30] Critics received the song well, claiming that what Gomez continues to prove is that she has the talent and energy to match any of the other successful Disney acts that came before.[31] "Falling Down" peaked at number eighty-two[32] on the US Billboard Hot 100, at sixty-nine on the Canadian Hot 100,[32] and at fifteen on the Billboard Japan Hot 100.[33] "Naturally" is the album's second and final single. The music video premiered on December 11, 2009[34] on Disney Channel.[35] The single debuted at number thirty-nine on the Billboard Hot 100[36] and has peaked at number twenty-nine.[37] On the Canadian Hot 100 it has peaked at number eighteen.[37] "Naturally" debuted at number forty-six on the Australian Singles Chart making it the first single from the band to appear on that chart.[38] The song also made its debut at number twenty on the New Zealand Singles Chart[39] making it the band's first top 20 appearance there.

The song "The Way I Loved You" also gained some recognition, charting at number 73 in Korea.[40] The song "I Won't Apologize" was used in an episode of the series Pretty Little Liars. The song Tell Me Something I Don't Know was used for the soundtrack Another Cinderella Story and is regarded as a single.

Promotion[edit]

Radio Disney premiered some songs from the album from Monday, September 21, 2009 to Friday, September 25: "Kiss and Tell", "Naturally", "Crush", "I Promise You" and "More".[41] On September 26, the station premiered the entire album, with a rebroadcast the next day.[41] The group also performed both "Falling Down" and "Naturally" at the 2009 Teletón in Mexico.[42] They also performed at PopCon in February, along with Justin Bieber.[43] They have also performed live on televised events. On September 29, prior to the record release party, Selena Gomez & the Scene performed live on the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars,[44] to which they received a negative reaction, mainly due to Gomez's vocals. The group have not performed the song televised since. However, "Naturally" was performed multiple times, including a performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show,[45][46] The song, along with "More" were performed on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest in 2010. Gomez performed both of those songs yet again on Good Morning America, to promote the album. In the UK, the single was performed live on Studio Five, where Gomez also was interviewed.

Gomez and her band also performed songs from the album on their concert tour, Selena Gomez & the Scene: Live in Concert.[47][48] The tour featured 19 dates, one of which was in Europe. Spanning from November 15, 2009 to October 10, 2010, the tour saw the band appearing in places such as San Diego, California, Dallas, as well as San Francisco.[49] Four shows on the tour were cancelled due to vocal injuries sustained by Gomez. Among the cancelled shows were stops in Holmdel Township, New Jersey and Hartford, Connecticut.[50][51] The tour set-list saw Gomez performing all of the songs from the album, excluding "As a Blonde" and "I Got U". During the first leg of the tour, the band covered the song "I Want It That Way", a song by the Backstreet Boys from their 1999 album, "Millennium". They also performed a cover of the recent hit by Katy Perry, "Hot n Cold", from her 2008 album One of the Boys. The band also performed the song "Magic", which Gomez had recorded as a solo artist for the Wizards of Waverly Place film, which premiered on Disney Channel. The second leg of the tour saw an edited set-list, featuring both singles from the band's sophomore album. The new set-list also featured the band performing the Taylor Swift hit, "You Belong with Me". Gomez also requested that they perform the song "Love Is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar for the tour. They also performed the hit single "In My Head" by artist Jason Derulo, from his eponymous debut album.

The tour proved to be a financial success for the band's label. During their stop in Dallas, the band sold all 1,741 tickets available, selling out that show. The show brought a total gross of $40,185. Their stop in San Francisco had similar success, selling a total of 953 tickets, which was the total amount available, making it their second stop to sell out. The show's total gross was $26,507.[52] The band's stop in New York City also sold out, with the total amount of 706 tickets becoming sold out. The show earned a total gross of $18,410.[52] Gomez's performance on the tour was praised by critics who saw the show. John J. Moser praised the performance, saying "Most of her show – 10 songs – was from her debut disc, last year's Kiss & Tell. But she opened with her latest single, 'Round and Round', from sophomore disc, A Year Without Rain, due out next month, and did that disc’s title song, as well – a dance/techno tune that showed her nice upper register. That's where her voice works best, as on probably the show’s highlight—the slow, voice-and-acoustic-guitar 'The Way I Loved You', for which she sang from a stool. It was an audience favorite, too, as they waved their arms and screamed loudly afterward."[53] Yvette Armendariz also praised the show, commenting "It wasn't a splashy performance, but it adequately entertained young fans who just wanted to see her up close. On set, Gomez chatted between songs, talking about favorite songs (among them 'Crush'), a great Italian meal and how fabulous the Phoenix crowd was ('I think you're my favorite.') And she made sure to give an extra long thank you/good-bye for her fans. No diva on stage - so refreshing!"[53]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer Length
1. "Kiss & Tell"  
  • Bruner
  • Vittetoe
3:17
2. "I Won't Apologize"   Fields 3:06
3. "Falling Down"  
  • Bruner
  • Vittetoe
  • Schock
  • Bruner
  • Vittetoe
3:05
4. "I Promise You"   SuperSpy 3:20
5. "Crush"  
  • Bruner
  • Vittetoe
  • Schock
  • Bruner
  • Vittetoe
3:19
6. "Naturally"  
Rock Mafia 3:22
7. "The Way I Loved You"   Wells 3:33
8. "More"  
  • Hasson
  • Robbins
  • Filian
SuperSpy 3:30
9. "As a Blonde"   Wells 2:47
10. "I Don't Miss You at All"  
Gad 3:40
11. "Stop & Erase"  
  • Bruner
  • Vittetoe
  • Schock
  • Bruner
  • Vittetoe
2:52
12. "I Got U"  
Wilder 3:34
13. "Tell Me Something I Don't Know"  
  • Armato
  • Ralph Churchwell
  • Michael Nielsen
Rock Mafia 2:55

Personnel[edit]

[58]

  • Vocals – Selena Gomez
  • Background vocals – Selena Gomez, Lindy Robbins, Gina Schock, Fefe Dobson, Char Licera, Katia Zuccarelli
  • Guitar – John Fields, Greg Johnston, Jimmy Messer, Tim Pierce, Isaac Hasson
  • Bass – John Fields, Sean Hurley, Isaac Hasson
  • Keyboards – John Fields, Isaac Hasson, Mher Filian
  • Drums – John Fields, Dorian Crozier, Josh Freese
  • Beats – Mher Filian
  • Producer – John Fields, Matthew Wilder, Rob Wells, Toby Gad, Trey Vittetoe, Devrim Karaoglu, Antonina Armato
  • Engineer – John Fields, Matthew Wilder, Rob Wells, Trey Vittetoe, Chris Anderson, Adam Comstock, Steve Hammons, Luke Tozour
  • Mixing – John Fields, Matthew Wilder, Toby Gad, Chris Anderson, Clif Norrell, Paul Palmer, Paul David Hager
  • Programming – John Fields, Rob Wells, Toby Gad
  • Instrumentation – Matthew Wilder, Rob Wells, Toby Gad, Trey Vittetoe
  • Vocal producer – Rob Wells, Shelly Peiken
  • Drum engineering – Ghian Wright
  • Arranger – Toby Gad
  • Assistant engineer – Dorian Crozier
  • Mastering – Robert Vosgien
  • A&R – Cindy Warden, Jon Lind
  • Creative director – David Snow
  • Design – Nick Steinhardt
  • Art direction – Jeri Heiden

Charts and certifications[edit]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Canada[73] September 29, 2009 Hollywood Records CD, digital download D000283102
United States[74]
Australia[75] October 16, 2009 Universal Music
Japan[76] February 24, 2010 Avex Group CD, CD+DVD, digital download AVCW-13120 (CD), AVCW-13119B (CD+DVD)
India[77] April 3, 2010 Universal Music CD D000283102
United Kingdom[78] April 19, 2010 Fascination Records CD, digital download D000575702
France May 14, 2010

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