When Selena Gomez announced ‘Fetish’ as the title of her new single, I was low-key hoping she’d written a song about being into something really weird. Like gardening gloves or something. After all, there’s no better way to shake off your squeaky clean child star past than by getting into some freaky sex stuff. Just ask Miley. But disappointingly, ‘Fetish’ is a surprisingly clean track, and not – as I was hoping – a three minute ode to armpits.
It turns out it’s actually love (yawn) that’s the fetish in question here. I don’t think love as an abstract concept actually counts as a fetish, though. In fact, the word ‘Fetish’ is only really shoehorned in here to make for a memorable title. As a concept, it doesn’t really make much sense. But hey, we’ll let it slide.
Despite its dubious name, ‘Fetish’ is a great track. A slinky, sensual slow jam that shimmers with cool synth flourishes and a glittery RnB arrangement, it’s another weapon in Gomez’s growing arsenal of left-field pop songs, joining previous single ‘Bad Liar’. But whereas ‘Bad Liar’ was an off-kilter folksy pop number, ‘Fetish’ is far slicker, glistening with skittering beats and vocal sighs.
‘Fetish’ also features rapper Gucci Mane, who pops up to deliver some really fairly shit rhymes. I mean “All these rumors bein’ spreaded” – what the hell is that? And he name drops a bottled water brand for some reason. It’s a boring intervention, and an unnecessary one, because ‘Fetish’ is a perfectly decent song all on its own. Listening to it, you get the impression Lana Del Rey is sitting by her radio somewhere wondering how this Disney pipsqueak beat her to it. Surely ‘Fetish’ was a Del Rey title just waiting to happen, and the breathy RnB track would be a good fit for her voice. But Selena makes it work, demonstrating her ability as a pop chameleon, trying on different styles and still working out which fits best. But if her last two tracks are anything to go by, she’s going to find herself spoiled for choice.