The 20 greatest Selena Gomez singles of all time, ranked from worst to best
I love all these bangers like a love song, baby!
She might not be the best singer, she might not be the best dancer, but if there’s one thing Selena Gomez is going to unequivocally bring to the pop music table it’s an unmistakable banger. I don’t care if it’s a solo effort, if it’s a feature with whatever DJ is the flavour of the month or if it’s in association with “and the Scene” – whatever the hell that was – rest assured that if Selena comes on I’m steering clear of the skip button. Here are the 2o greatest Selena Gomez singles from her whole career, ranked from worst to best.
20. I Can’t Get Enough
Built on an “Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm” vocal loop that formulates the beat of the track, I Can’t Get Enough sees Selena use her finest asset full throttle: Her breathy vocals that ooze appeal. It doesn’t matter that she’s never the strongest singer in the room when she sets a tone so well – and her feature on this 2019 Benny Blanco track makes the song what it is.
“Take it or leave it, baby, take it or leave it” is a great way to open a track, especially when Selena Gomez knows full well that when her singles sound this good there’s no way anyone’s leaving it. A song that still sounds fresh and cool – a blend of trap and Katy Perry-esque pre choruses that feels perfectly seductive.
18. The Heart Wants What It Wants
What the Farquaad! WHAT THE FARQUAAD! Selena Gomez should have honestly rewritten the lyrics in honour of the Shrek villain because no one can unhear it.
17. De Una Vez
De Una Vez sees Selena Gomez leaning into her Mexican heritage and is her first Spanish language release – it’s beautiful. Delicate, atmospheric, gorgeous. Her vocals just sound exponentially better in Spanish? The video is as breathtaking as the track. She sounds right at home here.
16. Kill Em With Kindness
Revival was an album that defined the mid 2010s pop landscape – with many artists heralding it as an inspiration sonically on their releases at that time. Kill Em With Kindness is the fourth and final single from that record, and whilst it has more of a boppy album track feel than single power compared to some of the Selena Gomez singles ranked higher than it, it is still a blast of fun energy. “Your lies are bullets, your mouth’s a gun” is a highlight.
15. A Year Without Rain
Everything about A Year Without Rain is pure nostalgia. The “ooohs”, the swirling production, the twinkly piano – it’s 2010 Eurodance come balladry at its most delicious. Not the finest of all the Selena Gomez and the Scene offerings but one that I come back to so often for its melodrama and its synthetic deliciousness.
14. Ice Cream
Still undecided on if this BLACKPINK collab is ironically amazing or just genuinely brilliant? It’s kind of horrible but at the same time completely addictive? For me, it’s a song I despised on first listen but then found myself wholeheartedly drawn to – smashing the replay button so hard I got repetitive strain injury. Bratty pop at its most perfect.
13. It Ain’t Me
Kygo and Selena Gomez compliment each other so perfectly on It Ain’t Me that it feels like a travesty they didn’t do a full body of work in collaboration with each other. The tropical house sound of 2017, complete with juttering, chopped up vocal breakdowns mixed with the acoustic verses defined pop that era. Kind of the blueprint.
12. Back to You
Selena Gomez executively produced 13 Reasons Why, so it was no wonder that she’d be gracing the soundtrack albums that came with every season. There’s a genericness to Back To You in its essence, but it somehow feels elevated with Gomez bringing her star quality to the table. There are also a load of remixes that bump up its greatness, specifically the elite Riton and Kah-Lo mix.
11. Same Old Love
Every pop star needs a Charli XCX penned banger in their discography, and that’s exactly what Selena Gomez got herself with Same Old Love. Charli wrote the song and recorded the demo before it ended up with Selena, and her presence is all over it. For better or for worse. The chorus still features backing vocals from Charli and at times Selena feels like the feature on her own song – but as a Charli XCX STAN I’m having an excellent time. The more I listen to Same Old Love the more it sounds pretty much exactly like Havana by Camila Cabello.
10. Slow Down
Slow Down is chaotic, full throttle pop of the highest order – subtlety is completely off the menu. “You know I’m good with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation”, Gomez sings doing her best Femme Fatale era Britney Spears and pulling it off with ease. Pseudo-dubstep is the order of the day – it’s the perfect way to kick off the top 10 ranked Selena Gomez singles, a titslapper for any gym workout.
9. Look At Her Now
Released as a double a-side with a song yet to be ranked on this Selena Gomez singles list, Look At Her Now was the boppy half of the twin release. It just… slaps. It’s got all the hallmarks of a Selena Gomez song, boosted by Julia Michaels songwriting and breathy vocals, an “mmm mmm mmm” breakdown and an irresistibly infectious production. So much replay value.
8. Come & Get It
The first official Selena Gomez solo single, post “& the Scene” life, Come & Get It is an Indian strings soaked, EDM romp that sounds so much like a Rihanna song it should come as no shock that it was offered to her first. It’s a song that never gets old to me, even if as it approaches 10 years old it sounds carbon dated. Pop music in the early 2010s was so FUN – until novelty dance songs took over the charts and we had to witness British high school staff putting up endless YouTube videos of them doing the Harlem Shake.
7. Hands To Myself
I truly think this song changed the pop landscape. The clicking and the handclapping that makes up its production just wasn’t happening in the charts at the time – and the combo of Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels and Selena Gomez began to make pop magic that lead to them being her main collaborators. There’s a sexiness to Hands To Myself (“I’d breathe you in every single day”) that goes hand in hand with the stupidity of it (“Your metaphorical gin and juice!”) It’s no wonder Britney Spears credited this entire Selena era as the inspiration for her Glory album – Gomez has never sounded more Brit. It’s so joyful – “I mean I could but why would I want to?” is pure euphoria.
Naturally has an early Miley Cyrus sound to it that I’ve been in a chokehold with since I first heard it. It’s pop perfection, end of. The production stirs and builds so well – perfectly moulding the drama and atmosphere with a chorus that is sheer euphoria. It’s hard to not bellow out “You are the thunder and I am the lightening!” at any given opportunity. It’s very Disney star does pop, but that’s why I love it. There’s a time and a place for such a vibe, and it’s Naturally by Selena Gomez. (& the Scene!).
Rare feels like Hands To Myself’s older sister – a bit more mature, without losing that song’s sense of fun. Production wise they walk the same path – minimalist drums and a bouncy vocal from Selena. I love how layered her vocals are. This song always reminds me of the last hurrah before Covid-19, released at the very start of 2020. It remained a song that defined my 2020, endless replay value and laughably enjoyable lyrics like “Saw us getting older, burning toast in the toaster”. Scripture.
4. Love You Like a Love Song
Love You Like a Love Song is camp excellence. Completely autotuned within an inch of its life, a chorus that hammers itself into your skull with Gomez as a vocal fembot with a hammer. Repetitive in the same excellent way as songs like Can’t Get You Out Of My Head by Kylie Minogue – it’s an ice cold, overproduced rammer that sacrifices any “authenticity” for unwavering pop magic. It’s the kind of song that has people who think music needs to be written by people with guitars in outcry. And I love it! The verses are delicious and the chorus is immaculately vacuous. Heaven!
3. Good For You
After the maximalist Stars Dance era, Revival was ushered in with a complete reinvention in the form of Good For You. Serving as the album’s lead single, Good For You got instant critical acclaim and it’s remained absolutely delicious. Leaning into her breathy vocals, Gomez goes Lana and Lorde for a song that oozes sex appeal. It’s hard not to feel like the sexiest person in the room getting ready to this. It was the perfect direction for her to go in sonically and it’s a song that never once gets boring or sounds dated. Huge. “I’m on my marquis diamonds / I’m a marquis diamond / Could even make that Tiffany jealous”? Pop songwriting perfection.
2. Lose You to Love Me
Lose You To Love Me is one of the best ballads of the last 10 years. There, I said it! It’s a breakup song for the ages, every word feels devastating. It’s clearly deeply personal but yet manages to be completely accessible. “You promised the world and I fell for it / I put you first and you adored it” is quite the way to open a song, and a chorus built around “I needed to hate you to love me” never stops hitting hard. You can almost hear her voice trembling on the recording, and that frailness that her vocals bring to the table here just make it more effective. If a vocalist like Lady Gaga sang Lose You To Love Me, it would lose its authenticity. It feels raw – like a peek behind the curtain. It is so special.
1. Bad Liar
I mean, could it be anything else? The titanic Bad Liar, with its strutting sample of the bassline of Psycho Killer by Talking Heads even got approval from David Byrne himself – a hypnotic and enthralling blast of pop music that feels like the peak of Gomez’s creativity as an artist and exactly where she should always be singing sonically. Everything about Bad Liar plays to her strengths – snappy production, breezy vocals, funny lyrics (“And just like the Battle of Troy, there’s nothing subtle here” … okay!). It takes everything great about Hands To Myself and Good For You and pushes into this new world of pop rock, influenced by the past whilst feeling completely modern.
Most publications heralded it as the best song of her career to date, and that’s where it remains to this day – the very best of all Selena Gomez ranked singles. It never gets old, never gets annoying, never once feels uncool or try hard. Just a magical little ear worm where pop lightning struck. “And OH baby let’s make reality actuality a reality!”