"Slow Down" is a song by American recording artist Selena Gomez, taken from her debut solo studio album, Stars Dance (2013). It was released on June 3, 2013, when it was made available for instant digital download along with the pre-order of the album. Hollywood Records later sent the song to mainstream radio as the second single from the album on August 13. The dance-pop song was produced by The Cataracs and David Kuncio, and infuses EDM elements in its instrumentation. Lyrically, the song speaks of slowing down time and living in one magical moment on the dance floor.
Music critics gave a mixed reception to the song, with some praising its catchiness and fun production, while others criticized the EDM influence. "Slow Down" has achieved moderate success, reaching number 2 in Belgium (Flanders), while peaking inside the top 20 in Belgium (Wallonia), Russia and South Korea. In the United States, the song peaked at number 27, and has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for selling over 1,000,000 units of the single in the country. On the Pop Songs component chart, it entered the top 10 and reached the position of number 7.
An 18-second sample of the song's pre-chorus features Gomez singing over a "pseudo-dubstep" instrumentation with influences of EDM. Lyrically, the song speaks of taking a relationship slowly rather than rushing into things.
On June 3, 2013, during a live chat on her YouTube channel, Gomez revealed that her debut solo studio album would be titled Stars Dance, and also revealed the album's track listing and cover art. During the same chat, the singer announced she would release "Slow Down" as the second single from the album, after "Come & Get It", and that fans would be able to download the song right after pre-ordering the album on iTunes. On August 13, the song was sent to mainstream radio in the United States, while a digital remixes EP was released the following week on Amazon.com. On September 6, a digital EP with "Lover in Me", "I Like It That Way" and a remix of "Come & Get It" as b-sides, was released through iTunes in some countries including Brazil, Norway and Vietnam. The EP will be released in the United Kingdom on December 8.
The song was written by Lindy Robbins, Julia Michaels, Niles Hollowell-Dhar, David Kuncio and Freddy Wexler and was produced by both Hollowell-Dhar, under the production team pseudonym The Cataracs, and Dave Kuncio. "Slow Down" is a high-octane, uptempodance-pop and EDM song, that has been described as "wobbly club thumper" by Robert Copsey of Digital Spy. It features a dubstep pre-chorus, funk guitars, a four on the floor beat, and a spoken word outro. Lyrically, the song speaks of taking a relationship slowly rather than rushing into things, with Gomez singing, "Can we take it nice and slow, slow / Break it down and drop it low, low / Cause I just wanna party all night in the neon lights 'til you can't let me go." It is written in the key of C# minor. Gomez's vocals span from the low note of B3 to the high note of C♯5.
Andrew Hampp of Billboard called the song "harmless, frothy fun", while complimenting its "pseudo-dubstep pre-chorus breakdown, stretched-out staccato vocal loops and not-too-naughty-for Disney lyrics ("You know I'm good with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation")". Caryn Ganz of Rolling Stone noted that Gomez's producers "finally [gave] her tighter tunes" like "Slow Down", adding that it is "ripe for remixing." Writing for the Los Angeles Times, August Brown thought the production "Slow Down" is "rooted in today's pop-EDM default mode, but as that stuff goes, [the song] is pretty capable." PopDust contributor Christina Drill was critical towards the song, considering it "adequate-but-forgettable", and further stating: "the only thing that separates it from the faceless EDM masses? Selena cooing, 'You know I'm good with mouth to mouth resuscitation' in a way that's almost believable. A total whatever." Matthew Horton of Virgin Media deemed it "charmless", while Joseph Atilano of the Philippine Daily Inquirer wrote that "Slow Down" was "tailor-made for her to represent her on-again, off-again, relationship with Justin Bieber. Some of the lyrics are a bit suggestive but there is nothing in them that would turn off any of her loyal fans."
After being released for instant digital download with the pre-order of Stars Dance, "Slow Down" charted in several countries, including Australia, where it peaked at number 91, and in Austria, staying on the country's chart for two weeks before peaking at number 71. The song has charted for 16 weeks in France, and has so far peaked at number 62. In the Ultratip charts from Belgium, it peaked at number 2 in Flanders and number 13 in Wallonia. On the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, "Slow Down" peaked at number 27, and has been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for selling over 500,000 units of the single in the country. On the Pop Songs component chart, the song entered the top 10 and reached the position of number 7.
The accompanying music video for "Slow Down" was directed by Philip Andelman and filmed in Paris, France in May 2013. It leaked online on July 19, and was later uploaded to her official Vevo account. The video features Gomez sitting in the back seat of a 1964 Pullman 600 Mercedes-Benz. The car scenes are combined with her walking the streets of Paris dancing in a club dressed in a two piece outfit with backup dancers in front of pulsating neon lights. Sam Lansky of Idolator commented that the video has "no narrative, but it's Selena being grown-and-sexy, which is more than adequate narrative for me. It's a cherry on top of how fine the Stars Dance era has already been, and it augurs well for what's to come." A blogger for MuchMusic noted similarities on "Slow Down" to early music videos by recording artists Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez.
When the music video for the song was leaked online, Keith Girard of celebrity gossip site The Improper wrote that the music video for "Slow Down" had elements of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Keith says that "Selena Gomez’s new video for song “Slow Down” contains some eerie parallels to the death of Princess Diana. Selena races through the Paris streets in a vintage Mercedes similar to Diana’s on the night she was killed in a car crash." Caroline Bologna of Hollywood.com picked up on the matter on the same day and mentioned how the footage of the vintage car speeding through tunnels is similar to the princess' death.