If you’ve turned on the radio at all over the past few months, you’ve probably heard the song “Good for You” by Selena Gomez. Reaching the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 this fall and racking up over 136 million plays on Spotify, it’s the former Disney star’s biggest hit to date — a slinky, coy coming-out party capped with a cameo verse from Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky, who gamely earns his appearance fee in the role of boorish Danny to Gomez’s prim Sandy. The song as a whole is not especially remarkable — it echoes the spare and moody strains in R&B and hip-hop that made Tinashe a thing — but there’s one part of it that is truly weird and utterly mesmerizing. Ever since I first heard it, it’s haunted me. And to this day, whenever I hear this part of the song, I can’t help but sing along — not because I’m moved by the lyrics or the melody, but because my mind and body are in awe of how a human being can produce the sounds. Maybe you’ve noticed it too.
For Gomez, apparently, “good” is not good enough. The way she sings it, it becomes something like “guoid”; a showy outlier, like your friend who swims with dolphins on Instagram. If you don’t hear it, listen again. Because if I’m dreaming this all up, I’m not the only one.