Kiss & Tell is Selena Gomez & The Scene's debut studio album that was released on September 29, 2009 by Hollywood Records.
- Kiss & Tell 3:17
- I Won't Apologize 3:07
- Falling Down 3:05
- I Promise You 3:20
- Crush 3:20
- Naturally 3:23
- The Way I Loved You 3:34
- More 3:31
- As A Blonde 2:47
- I Don't Miss You At All 3:41
- Stop & Erase 2:53
- I Got U 3:34
- Tell Me Something I Don't Know 2:56
Selena Gomez became heavily involved with the Disney Channel in 2007, starring in her own sitcom, "Wizards of Waverly Place" and making various appearances on soundtracks.
She also contributed multiple songs to the soundtrack for her film, "Another Cinderella Story", one of which was released as a promotional single.
In July 2008, Gomez announced that she had signed a recording contract with Hollywood Records, who most notably had signed other Disney acts such as Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. She revealed to MTV News that she hoped to start a band as opposed to having a solo career.
She held auditions to find members for the band in Burbank, California. Greg Garman was selected as the band's drummer, Joey Clement played bass guitar and Dane Forrest & Nick Foxer played the keyboard, with Foxer also providing background vocals. Foxer departed the band the following year for unknown reasons. Ethan Robers both played guitar and provided background vocals.
Gomez worked on the project for over a year, with over one-hundred songs being considered for the album.
Gomez later stated she went through so many tracks to ensure that both she and her fans could "relate" to the material.
She announced the band's name to be Selena Gomez & the Scene in August 2009, claiming: "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!"
While recording the album, Gomez began to learn how to play the guitar and drums; she later began to learn how to play the piano and take vocal lessons. She stated she hoped to "make people dance" with the music on the album.
Gomez wrote a song titled "I'm Sorry" for the album, reportedly inspired by her relationship with Nick Jonas. She claimed it would be the first song recorded for the album, and would be the only ballad featured; it ultimately was not included on the album.
Gomez also recorded a song titled "Beautifully Disturbed", which she revealed in May 2009. On the song, she said, "It’s definitely a song that’s close to me because it’s a nickname I was given and it’s very sweet. It means that sometimes I can be negative like every person can be, but you've got to find the beauty in that."
The song was not included on the album's final track listing. Gomez worked extensively with Ted Bruner and Trey Vittetoe on the album, whom she claimed produced "the core" of the record.
She worked with The Go-Go's member Gina Schock on numerous songs, four of which were included on the album. She worked with Rock Mafia on the song "Naturally", the first of many collaborations between the three.
"Falling Down" featured writing and production credits from Ted Bruner, Gina Schock and Trey Vittetoe.
"I Won't Apologize" was written by Gomez, and is her only writing credit on the album.
During a live performance, Gomez said, "I wrote this song because I feel like a lot of people tend to change themselves for – let’s be honest – a boy; and that’s what I did; and I never make that mistake again now. I’m sorry, I’m not what you wanted me to be, but I’m not gonna apologize for who I am."
She later cited the song as her favorite track on the album.
"Tell Me Something I Don't Know" was originally released as a promotional single by Gomez in 2008, with Rock Mafia remixing the song for its appearance on the album.
Gomez cited herself as a "huge" fan of Canadian singer Fefe Dobson, and later included a cover of her song "As a Blonde" on the record. She cited "Crush" as one of her favorite songs on the album.
"Falling Down" and "Stop & Erase" were the first two songs to be added to the album.
The music found on "Kiss & Tell" is composed mainly of pop rock and electronic rock music. Gomez described the album as being "fun pop-rock" with "a dance beat to it."
The album incorporates a wide variety of musical genres into its composition such as pop punk, Latin-influenced dance, mid-tempo bubblegum pop, new wave, and techno music. Its lyrical themes focus on the topics of love, fame, heartbreak, and freedom, among other.
She said the album was "what [she's] gone through with heartache, friendships, and things like that. I want my fans to know me a little bit better after they hear this record."
Gomez felt the album was a "good start" to figuring out "where [she] wanted to be musically."
Artists such as Paramore and Forever the Sickest Kids were cited as influences on the album.
"Kiss & Tell" is the album's opening number, which sees Gomez experimenting with the use of drum and bass and jungle music.
The song is backed by "punkish" guitars, hand claps, and shouts of "Hey!" It was described as featuring "attitude" and "borrows equally from punk attitude and pop melody."
"I Won't Apologize" lyrically sees Gomez refusing to apologize for the person that she is, and has been described as featuring an "emo pop" composition.
"Falling Down" is an upbeat pop rock and dance-pop track which contains a strong use of drums and electric guitars mixed with predominant "bloopy synths."
Gomez claimed the song was "about Hollywood and what people think about it and essentially how plastic it is sometimes."
"I Promise You" is a mid-tempo soft rock-inspired song which focuses mainly on the use of a guitar and drums. Lyrically the song sees Gomez promising a lover they will stay together.
"Crush" is a pop punk song that is also described as having an emo pop tone, and lyrically sees Gomez getting over a former lover.
"Naturally" is an electropop song that features a "juicy and instantly memorable vocal hook." On the song, Gomez sings about how easily feelings for a lover come to her.
"The Way I Loved You" is cited as the sole ballad on the album, with Gomez claiming she will never love someone as much as her previous lover.
"More" is an electronic rock song that features elements of pop music.
"As a Blonde" sees Gomez expressing interest in trying different things and changing up her personality.
"I Don't Miss You At All" has been compared to releases from Australian duo The Veronicas, with prominent elements of dance music.
"Stop & Erase" is a dominant rock track that sees Gomez confronting a "mean girl" or bully.
"I Got U" is a pop rock song with new wave elements that, according to Bill Lamb of About.com, is a "mix of sweetness and intensity that seems distinctively Selena Gomez."
The remixed version of "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" is a more pop-oriented version than the original, and has been likened to early releases from Britney Spears.
"Kiss & Tell" debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 66,000 copies in the United States.
It was certified gold by the RIAA, denoting sales exceeding 500,000 copies in the United States.
Bill Lamb of About.com gave "Kiss & Tell" a generally positive review, stating: "There is an energy and excitement here that is positively infectious. 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 described the album as "near-genius modern pop" which "show[ed] 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."
BBC News in Great Britain praised the album, describing it as "fast and full of energy." They went on to praise the tracks "Crush", "I Promise You", and "Falling Down."
Bob Smithouser of Pluggedin felt the album had a "sassy pop-rock" sound, and added "she spends much of [the album] ranting, venting and assuring those self-absorbed, two-timing cads that she’s already over them."
Sputnikmusic praised tracks such as "I Got U" and "Kiss & Tell", though they criticized the music videos for "Falling Down" and "Naturally" for being too boring.
Michael Hann of The Guardian gave the album a mixed review, stating "If the lyrics were half as inventive as the tunes, these Disney powerpop albums would be classics; as it is, though, they'll have to settle for being great fun."
Common Sense Media said the album was "a typical tween album, giving clean accounts of common tween concerns like falling in love and following your dreams" and later labeled it "uninspired."
Mikael Wood of Billboard said Gomez's music "could use more of her in it" if she hoped to have further success in music, though praised songs such as "Naturally" and "Kiss & Tell".
Entertainment Weekly criticized the album, namely Gomez's vocal performance, stating Gomez had "no vocal chops" and adding "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 gave a negative review of the album, commenting "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."