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Kiss & Tell (album)

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Kiss & Tell
Kiss & Tell (album)
Information
Released

September 29, 2009

Recorded

2009

Genre

Rock, pop

Length

42:20

Label

Hollywood Records

Format

CD, digital download

Singles from Kiss & Tell (album)
Falling Down (August 25, 2009)
Naturally (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. Staff writers were hired to write all the lyrics, as Gomez co-wrote one track. The band worked with several writers and producers on the album including Gina Schock of 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, in which the band performed to promote the album.

The album has spawned two singles, the lead single "Falling Down", and the follow up "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, as well as 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, where it became the first Disney Channel act to enter the Top 10 since Hilary Duff and her 2005 single, "Wake Up".

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 Album 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 and Greece. The album also entered the Top 10 in Argentina. In Germany, the album peaked at number 19. In March 2010, the album was certified Gold in the US, for shipments of 500,000 copies. As of February 2012, Kiss & Tell has sold 864,135 copies in the United States.

Background

Production

Gomez first announced the album publicly in late July 2008 on an interview with Jocelyn Vena of MTV News. stating, "I'm going to be in a band — no Selena Gomez stuff. I'm not going to be a solo artist. I think that I don't want my name attached to it." After two years of recording and going over one-hundred songs, Gomez announced the name of her band. 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.

Gomez has said in several interviews (including one with Z100 New York) that the band was formed through a long, exhausting audition process. She said it was worth it, though, because she has a great band. However, not long after joining the band, keyboardist Nick Foxer left for unknown reasons, and was replaced by Dane Forrest. Gomez also re-recorded her first charting single, "Tell Me Something I Don't Know", for the album because she recorded the original version when she was about fifteen years old. She calls herself a "huge, huge fan" of Fefe Dobson, to the extent that she included a cover of the Toronto, Canada native's "As a Blonde", which was a song for Dobson's unreleased album Sunday Love on the disc. Writers on the album include Ted Bruner, Trey Vittetoe and Gina Schock of the Go-Go's; who've contributed to the lead single on the album. Gomez co-wrote one song on the album, titled "I Won't Apologize".

Composition

Musically, the album drew influences from different artists such as Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga and Avril Lavigne. Gomez said the music is "fun, energetic, empowering." "I'm still new and still figuring out where I want to be musically. But I think this is a good start ... hopefully." Songs like "Falling Down" are upbeat pop songs that contains a strong use of drums and electric guitars with predominant "bloopy synths." Gomez elaborated on the concept of "Falling Down" during an interview, 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." On the song "As a Blonde," originally a Fefe Dobson song, Gomez sings in regards to trying different things and changing up her personality.

Kiss & Tell is composed of songs with pop-rock, electro-rock. "Kiss & Tell" is the first song on the album that tells of a supposed friend that tells her secrets and is described as a feisty electro-rock and punk pop number with punkish guitars, hand claps, shouts of "Hey!" and even a touch of Adam and the Ants jungle drums and bass figures. "I Won't Apologize" is a synth-rock song, co-written by Gomez. It tells about not changing yourself to fit someone else's approval. "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. "[...] 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." “I Promise You” is a pop-rock song with synth-pop characteristics. "Crush" is an aggressive rock song that vocally and lyrically sound close to that of Avril Lavigne. "Naturally" is an electropop song that has a juicy and instantly memorable vocal hook.

"The Way I Loved You" is the ballad of the album. “More” is a party/dance song. "As a Blonde" is a synthy pop-punk cover of the original by Fefe Dobson. “I Don't Miss You At All” is an electropop song with techno beat and synthesizer influences about post-break-up and sounds similar to that of the worldwide hit "Untouched" and "This Is How It Feels" by The Veronicas. “Stop & Erase” is an electro-rock song about a painful past with bullies and teasing. "I Got You" 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.” "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" is a song that was originally recorded for the soundtrack for Another Cinderella Story, but was re-recorded for this album.

Release and promotion

Kiss & Tell was released digitally and physically on September 29, 2009 in both Canada and the United States by Hollywood Records. The album was released in Australia by Universal Music on October 16, 2009. In India, the album was not released until 2010, when Universal Music released the album as a physical release only on April 3, 2010. In the United Kingdom, the album was released by Fascination Records on April 19, 2010, with both a physical and digital release.

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." On September 26, the station premiered the entire album, with a rebroadcast the next day. The group also performed both "Falling Down" and "Naturally" at the 2009 Teletón in Mexico. They also performed at PopCon in February, along with Justin Bieber. 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, to which they received a negative reaction, mainly due to Gomez's vocals. The group haven't performed the song televised since. However, "Naturally" was performed multiple times, including a performance onThe Ellen DeGeneres Show, 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.

Tour

Gomez and her band also performed songs from the album on their concert tour, Selena Gomez & the Scene: Live in Concert. 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 Texas, as well as San Francisco. 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. 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. 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. 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." 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!"

Singles

"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. A music video premiered on Disney Channel on August 28, 2009. 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. "Falling Down" peaked at number eighty-two on the US Billboard Hot 100, at sixty-nine on the Canadian Hot 100, and at fifteen on the Billboard Japan Hot 100. "Naturally" is the album's second single. The music video premiered on December 11, 2009 on Disney Channel. The single debuted at number thirty-nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and has peaked at number twenty-nine. On the Canadian Hot 100 it has peaked at number eighteen. "Naturally" debuted at number forty-six on the Australian Singles Chart making it the first single from the band to appear on that chart. The song also made its debut at number twenty on the New Zealand Singles Chart making it the band's first top 20 appearance there.

Despite not having an official single release, the eighth track on the album, "More", was performed multiple times by Gomez & the Scene. It was the opening song on their debut tour, and was also performed on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, as well as a performance on Good Morning America. The song "The Way I Loved You", also gained some recognition, charting at number 73 in Korea. The song "I Won't Apologize" was used in an episode of the series Pretty Little Liars.

Critical reception

Professional ratings

The album received mixed from 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." 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."

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)." 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". 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."

Chart performance

Kiss & Tell debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200 selling 66,000 copies the first week. It continued to remain on the chart for 52 consecutive weeks thereafter. On the Billboard 2009 Year End and 2010 albums charts, Kiss & Tell appears at number 187 and 47, respectively. The album failed to chart on the ARIA Charts but charted on the component chart Australian Hitseekers Albums chart at number four. 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 album's 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. It has sold 778,000 copies to date.

Kiss & Tell debuted at 12 on the UK Albums Chart, after the Top 10 premiere 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 the album's second single, Naturally, began receiving heavy radio airplay. The album also reached a peak of number 20 on the Mexico album's chart list. 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 Album's Chart and the Belgium Album's Chart. In France, the album debuted at number 24. Kiss & Tell debuted at number 33 on the Italian Album's Chart, as well as number 36 on the Swiss Album's Chart. In Norway, the album barely made the Top 40, peaking at number 38. On the Dutch Album's Chart, the album failed to have much success, only peaking at number 47.

As of March 2012, the album has sold over 900,000 copies in the United States and 1.5 million worldwide.

Track listing

No. Title Writers Length
1. "Kiss & Tell" Ted Bruner, Trey Vittetoe, Gina Schock 3:17
2. "I Won't Apologize" Selena Gomez, John Fields, Bleu 3:06
3. "Falling Down" Ted Bruner, Trey Vittetoe, Gina Schock 3:05
4. "I Promise You" Isaac Hasson, Lindy Robbins, Mher Filian 3:20
5. "Crush" Bruner, Vittetoe, Schock 3:19
6. "Naturally" Antonina Armato, Tim James, Devrím Karaoglu 3:22
7. "The Way I Loved You" Shelly Peiken, Rob Wells 3:33
8. "More" Hasson, Robbins, Filian 3:20
9. "As a Blonde" Fefe Dobson, Greg Wells, Peiken 2:47
10. "I Don't Miss You At All" Robbins, Toby Gad 3:40
11. "Stop & Erase" Bruner, Vittetoe, Schock 2:52
12. "I Got U" Matthew Wilder, Tamara Dunn 3:34
13. "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" Armato, Ralph Churchwell, Michael Nielsen 2:55

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