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If “Bang Bang Bang” had a sugary pleasantness about it, then “Love You Like a Love Song” has none. A combination of sub-par production and underwhelming lyrics prevent this song from being good.
The problem with Selena Gomez’s “Love You Like a Love Song” is that the best love songs are passionate. Electronic club or sex songs are all well and good, but a love song shouldn’t sound mechanical unless it’s deliberately meant to be subversive and to highlight dark, pathological obsessions like in many of Lady Gaga’s songs.
This single, however, is meant to be a standard love song. Lines like “You are beautiful, like a dream come alive,” and “There's no way to describe what you do to me,” are constantly belted out through the radio, and the only way to make such mediocre lyrics stand out is to surround them with a beautiful tune.
It’s an awful decision, then, to auto-tune Selena’s voice in the chorus. Her vocals are not just robotic; they sometimes sound monotone. Why would anyone give a declaration of love in monotone?
The verses are less auto-tuned and therefore better, but they’re only decent enough to make the song acceptably average instead of very good. In that way, “Love You Like a Love Song” has an apropos title. Most people want their romances of a better quality.
Selena Gomez is a more competent and serious entertainer than your average high-profile child/Disney star, and I wish her well in continuing to recover from her recent illness. She just needs to be capable of more than this lukewarm single.