A Year Without Rain is the second studio album by American band Selena Gomez & The Scene. The album was released on September 17, 2010 via Hollywood Records. The band once again worked with writers and producers from their debut, Kiss & Tell as Rock Mafia duo Tim James, and Antonina Armato, as well as Fefe Dobson, Toby Gad, and Superspy. New contributions came from Kevin Rudolf, Katy Perry, Jonas Jeberg and RedOne among others. Due to the success of their breakout hit, Naturally, the album draws mainly from dance-pop, rather than the pop rock sound of Kiss & Tell. While making use of the Auto-Tune effect, the album is also electropop, and infuses influences of several other genres, including dancehall, techno, and R&B, among others. According to Gomez, most of the songs on the album are dedicated to the fans, while she wanted content with more melodies and empowering lyrics. Lyrical themes include topics of love, freedom, and the joy of living in the moment.
The album has been given mostly positive reviews, with critics noting it as an improvement from the band's debut album. A Year Without Rain debuted in the United States at number four, selling 66,000 copies in its first week. The album has so far spawned two top forty singles in the United States, lead single, Round & Round and follow-up A Year Without Rain. In January 2011, the album was certified Gold by RIAA. As of June, 2011, A Year Without Rain has sold 609,000 copies in the United States.
In an interview with MTV News in February 2010, when referring to the then-upcoming record, frontwoman Selena Gomez said, "It's kind of different — older — and it's kind of got, like, a reggae sound." Gomez also stated she was unsure of taking on the responsibility of the album's main songwriter, unwanting the added pressure.She also talked about producers for the album, expressing interest to work with Naturally producers, Antonina Armato and Tim James, as well as Dr. Luke She pointed out main goals for the record, which were making sure that she could relate to it, and that the fans could also, stating, "all of those songs are things that I went through, and that's why I put that all together." Later in an interview with Digital Spy, Gomez gave hints about the album, stating that instead of pulling another single from 2009's Kiss & Tell, that she looked forward to moving into the next album, which would be completely different.
Gomez stated that the album was named after the titular single because it was the first song recorded for the album, and she wanted to base the rest of the work on the song. Gomez went into further explanation, stating, "I mean, even down from putting the track listing and numbering it, I wanted to make sure I envisioned [fans] putting it in their car or putting it on their iPod and how I wanted them to listen to the record." According to Gomez, most songs on the album were inspired by the band's dedicated fans, as she stated, "I wish I could give to them, because they mean so much to me." Calling the album "a feel-good record," Gomez said it has a more dance/techno vibe. The frontwoman also said that she wanted something with more "meaning and melody, and more empowering lyrics." About the new techno-leaning, Gomez said that it was inspired by the success of their breakout hit, Naturally. She explained, "There’s a feeling when I perform that song that I love, so when I was going back in the studio, I had a better understanding of where I wanted to be musically."
In July 2010, Gomez confirmed that an unreleased track co-penned by Katy Perry was given to her, and that Perry also contributed background vocals. She also confirmed the titles of songs A Year Without Rain and Intuition. On August 17, 2010, Gomez revealed the album's track listing. The singer did not confirm any collaborations, whilst at the time it was rumored that Perry would be featured on her co-written Rock God, and Miley Cyrus would perform alongside Gomez on Off The Chain. It was also reported that a Demi Lovato duet The Beginning of the Road did not make the track listing, however this was unconfirmed and the collaborations proved to be false. A few days later, Lovato confirmed that she did not work on a track with Gomez for the album, but did not rule out a possible Gomez collaboration for her upcoming R&B-influenced album.
The album features a predominant dance-pop-electropop feel, while incorporating eurodance, and reggae, dancehall, disco, and R&B influences. On most tracks, Gomez's vocals contain the auto-tune affect. Lyrical content deals with themes of love, freedom, and the joy of living in the moment. Tim Sendra of Allmusic noted while Kiss & Tell was more lighthearted and fun, that this album is "more serious lyrically and musically." Sendra also said where the previous album had a "retro feel" and "plenty of guitars," this work was "totally of the moment," accompanied by auto-tune and guest raps.
Album opener Round & Round, an upbeat synth-driven song, features a "riding electro groove," while Summer's Not Hot has a eurodance chorus, courtesy of RedOne. Spotlight seems to derive from dancehall, and according to Mikael Wood of Billboard, the song does not feature a hook. The title track, A Year Without Rain is a dance ballad that is also disco, described as "emo." Eric Bellinger makes an appearance in rap interludes in Intuition, while Katy Perry has backing vocals on Rock God. Ghost of You is a ballad about a breakup. Ending track Live Like There's No Tomorrow has been called a power ballad.
The album received generally positive reviews. Mikael Wood of Billboard stated while the lyrics contain "standard issue tween-pop topics," the effort was an improvement over 2009's Kiss & Tell, commenting that the production outweighed the lyrical content. Although noting most songs on the album as "over-produced" dance-pop songs ballads and that Gomez spends most of the record trying to "dig herself out" of vocal effects, Allison Stewart of The Washington Post said at its worst, the album was a marked improvement over the "attitude-heavy", Kiss & Tell. Calling Gomez a young version of Katy Perry, Stewart commented, "Disney princesses seem to come along every 15 minutes, but few of them charm like Selena Gomez." Bill Lamb of About.com reviewed the album saying, "Clearly Selena Gomez & The Scene have evolved musically in the short year that has elapsed since their first album Kiss & Tell... This time around they are immersed in a more polished dance-pop style that moves easily from the glossy midtempo title cut to perky uptempo club tunes. If you have dismissed Selena Gomez as merely a cookie cutter Disney pop princess, it is high time to listen to more of her music and [the music] is likely to change your mind. While not deep, A Year Without Rain is a solid, pleasing pop album."
The album's lead single, Round & Round, co-written and produced by Kevin Rudolf of Cash Money and Andrew Bolooki, Jeff Halavacs, was released on June 22, 2010. Fefe Dobson and Andrew Bolooki also receives writing credits. The song received positive reviews from critics who noted its catchiness and expanding of Gomez's demographic. It debuted at twenty-four on the Billboard Hot 100, and also appeared on the Pop Songs, and Hot Dance Club Play charts, as well as charting internationally. The song's accompanying music video, shot in Budapest, Hungary, features Gomez and the band in a secret spy storyline. The second single, A Year Without Rain, written by Lindy Robbins and produced by Toby Gad, was released on September 7, 2010. It debuted at thirty-five in the United States, and at number thirty-seven in Canada.
|1||Round & Round||Kevin Rudolf, Andrew Bolooki, Fefe Dobson, Jeff Halavacs, Jacob Kasher||Rudolf, Bolooki, Halavacs||3:06|
|2||A Year Without Rain||Lindy Robbins, Toby Gad||Gad||3:54|
|3||Rock God||Katy Perry, Priese Prince LaMont Board, Victoria Jane Horn||Rock Mafia||3:08|
|4||Off The Chain||Tim James, Antonina Armato, Devrim Karaoglu||Rock Mafia||4:03|
|5||Summer's Not Hot||Armato, James, Nadir Khayat||Rock Mafia, RedOne||3:05|
|7||Spotlight||Peer Åström, Shelly Peiken, Adam Anders, Nikki Hassman||Åström, Anders||3:31|
|8||Ghost Of You||Peiken, Jonas Jeberg, Rasmus Seebach||Jeberg||3:23|
|9||Sick Of You||Matt Squire, Lucas Banker||Squire||3:23|
|10||Live Like There's No Tomorrow||Matt Bronleewe, Nicky Chinn, Andrew Fromm, Meghan Kabir||Superspy||4:07|
UK edition bonus tracksEdit
|3||Naturally||Antonina Armato, Tim James, Devrím Karaoglu||3:22|
UK ASDA edition bonus tracksEdit
|12||Round & Round (Razor & Guido Club Vocal Mix Radio Remix)||3:48|
|13||Making of the album Kiss & Tell||15:00|
|14||Video Message from Selena Gomez||0:15|
Deluxe edition bonus tracksEdit
|11||Round & Round (Dave Audé Radio Remix)||Rudolf, Bolooki, Dobson, Halavacs, Kasher||3:33|
|12||A Year Without Rain (EK's Future Classic Remix Radio Edit)||Rudolf, Bolooki, Dobson, Halavacs, Kasher||4:05|
|13||Un Año Sin Lluvia (A Year Without Rain - Spanish Version)||Edgar Cortazar, Gad, Mark Portmann, Robbins||3:30|
iTunes Deluxe edition bonus tracksEdit
|14||Round & Round (Music video)||3:26|
|15||A Year Without Rain (Music video)||3:29|
Deluxe edition DVDEdit
|1||Girl Meets World (Extended edition)||36:50|
|2||Girl On Film (Behind the scenes at the photo shoot)||4:23|
|3||A Year Without Rain Video Shoot (Behind the scene)||5:20|
|4||Round & Round (Music video)||3:26|
|5||Naturally (Music video)||3:13|
A Year Without Rain was released on September 17, 2010. It debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number 4, with sales of 62,154, barely beating out Kiss & Tell. In UK the album sales 20,000 copies.
|Charts (2010)||Peak Position|
|Australian Albums Chart||46|
|Austrian Albums Chart||19|
|Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)||11|
|Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)||21|
|Canadian Albums Chart||6|
|Czech Republic Album Chart||9|
|French Albums Chart||26|
|German Albums Chart||22|
|Greek Album Chart||10|
|Hungarian Albums Chart||23|
|Irish Albums Chart||40|
|Italian Albums Chart||28|
|Mexican Albums Chart||16|
|Netherlands Albums Chart||51|
|New Zealand Albums Chart||24|
|Polish Albums Chart||11|
|Portuguese Albums Chart||9|
|Spanish Albums Chart||6|
|Swiss Albums Chart||37|
|UK Album Chart||14|
|US Billboard 200||4|
|US Billboard 200||144|
|Poland||September 17, 2010||CD||Universal Music|
|Canada||September 21, 2010||CD/CD+DVD|
|United States||Hollywood Records|
|Australia||September 24, 2010||CD+DVD||Universal Music|
|United Kingdom||October 4, 2010||CD/CD+DVD||Fascination Records|
|Brazil||October 15, 2010||Universal Music|
|India||October 29, 2010||CD/CD+DVD||Universal Music|
|Japan||January 26, 2011||Avex International|
|Republic Of China (Taiwan)||January 28, 2011||CD+DVD||Universal Music|