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Released: 2017

Features: Marshmello

“Wolves” by Selena Gomez, featuring Marshmello, is a catchy tune, full stop. But don’t be fooled by the infectious beats and the pop veneer – it is a profound exploration of an arduous emotional journey to get to love. It’s all about Selena navigating her emotional “jungle”, fighting metaphorical “wolves”, and traversing the “darkest alleys” to reach her beloved.

Now, let’s unpack this – bear in mind, it’s all about metaphorical journeys and emotional battles. The first lines are intriguing as they ponder a “heavy blue” in the beloved’s eyes, introducing a sense of both allure and melancholy that permeates the song. There’s a dichotomy presented here – “one to love, and one to lose”, hinting that love and loss could be two sides of the same coin. Whether it’s “water or wine”, Selena doesn’t want to choose – a metaphorical insistence on embracing the complexities of love without labeling or reducing them.

The pre-chorus paints a poignant picture of longing, where she yearns for the freedom and intoxicating connection of a past summer night. Then comes the powerful chorus. It’s here she states she’s been “running through the jungle”, “running with the wolves” – essentially navigating perilous emotional terrains, to get to her love. She’s “been down the darkest alleys”, seen “the dark side of the moon”; essentially, she’s faced significant challenges, within and without, all for love.

The lyrics continue to delve into emotional struggles. When Selena mentions looking for love in every stranger, it points to her desperate search for emotional connection, a reflection of the loneliness she’s experienced. Taking “too much to ease the anger” could be a nod towards self-destructive behaviors or distractions born out of despair and frustration.

The reappearance of the chorus underscores her relentless pursuit alongside her raw vulnerabilities, evident when she switches from “running” with the wolves to “crying” with them. It’s a powerful shift, laying bare the raw emotional rollercoaster that marks her quest for love.

More than a song about a relationship, “Wolves” is a poignant allegory of the emotional pilgrimage that love often demands, replete with its highs and lows, trials and tribulations. Selena Gomez, in partnership with Marshmello, has given us a pop anthem that celebrates resilience and unyielding pursuit of love, despite the odds.

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