What Millennials Should Know About… Selena’s ‘Dreaming of You’

Features

VIBE Viva spotlights some of music’s most essential timepieces for Gen Y. You gon’ learn today.
Selena
Dreaming of You (1995)

Elevator Pitch: Dreaming of You is a nostalgic sound trip through Selena’s cumbia-influenced ballads and her Tex-Mex virtuosity. It’s also a poignant glimpse of the road her musical career may have taken had she lived.

Still Gets Infinite Spins: Dreaming of You’s headlining single, “I Could Fall In Love”; Selena’s career launcher, “Como La Flor”; and the sassy dance track “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”

Most Slept On: The reggae-infused “Techno Cumbia”; the funky “Captive Heart”; the Pedro Infante cover, “Tú Solo Tú”

In Your Feelings? Best Lines to Use as Status Updates:
—”I could lose my heart tonight/If you don’t turn and walk away” (“I Could Fall in Love”)
—”Cada vez que lo veo pasar/ Mi corazón se enloquece/ Y me empieza a palpitar” (“Everytime I watch him go by, my heart goes crazy and starts to palpitate”) (“Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”)
—”Como la flor/ Con tanto amor/ Me diste tú/ Se marchitó” (“Like a flower, with so much love/ Like you gave me, withers”) (“Como La Flor”)
—”God makes us dream but won’t set us free/ God calls us, dance to songs we can’t hear” (“God’s Child (Baila Conmigo)”)

Peak Moment: Sleep on traditional Mexican folk music? Selena’s Pedro Infante cover of “Tú Solo Tú” will wake you from your slumber. The passion and conviction with which la reina sings is unprecedented – con ganas (or unapologetically emotional) – considering she was slaying the traditionally male-dominated genre of Tejano music. Her lyrics are all too human and find the singer drunk in love, literally lamenting over having fallen for an evil heartbreaker. She sings, “Mira como ando mi amor/ Por tu querer/ Borracha y apasionada/ Nomas por tu amor…” (Look at me, my love/ because of your love/ I’m drunk and impassioned/ just for your love).

Bet You Didn’t Know: According to the late singer’s husband, Chris Pérez, Selena had “I Could Fall in Love” on loop, hearing it about “a hundred times.” He believed the now iconic ballad had an “affect on her” because “she went into the studio the next day to actually do the recording and just was nailing things left and right.”

Bet You (Also) Didn’t Know: Dreaming of You was Selena’s fifth and final studio album, but marked the first one her family did not produce. They collectively decided to step down prior to the recording sessions and allow seasoned pop producers, Grammy Award-winning Keith Thomas and Guy Roche, to work with her (which may or may not have worked against her, depending on who you ask).

Synopsis: If you first heard of Selena because of her tragic murder, then Dreaming of You was the first record you ever listened to. While her fourth studio LP Amor Prohibido is a more cohesive compilation, Dreaming of You (released via EMI Records on July 18, 1995) is a testament to Selena’s crossover appeal and the talents that made her a national treasure among Tejano fans. Still, the English tracks almost mirror her Spanish catalog and, as a whole, was hastily cobbled together. The first half is incredibly poppy with a tinge of R&B that’s comparable to a young Paula Abdul and Gloria Estefan. The later half reveals the more passionate and unrestrained Selena, who flexes her pipes on more traditional Tejano ballads.

Dreaming of You would have been a stronger album if Selena had lived. The listening experience is equivalent to sifting through diary blurbs—the story is incomplete. Yet, the 14-track offering still stands as a powerful and touching testament to the songstress’ brilliance. The posthumous record remains the best-selling Latin album of all time in the U.S., with five million copies sold worldwide. May she continue to rest in power.

Cop Selena’s Dreaming Of You on iTunes here.