Selena Gomez formed the band as she stated she did not want to become a solo artist quite yet. Staff writers were hired to write all the lyrics, and Gomez wrote one track. The band worked with several writers and producers on the album including Gina Schock of the Go-Go's. Their work with Schock received a warm reception from musical critics, most of which praised the tracks worked on by Schock. The album received mixed reviews from music critics: although the album was praised, several critics had a somewhat negative reception towards Gomez's vocal performance, in light of a critically panned performance on Dancing with the Stars, in which the band performed to promote the album.
The album has spawned two singles, the lead single "Falling Down", and the follow up "Naturally". "Falling Down" failed to chart well, however, it did peak at number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single has become a hit in Japan, peaking at number 15, their only Top 20 hit in the country to date. The second single, "Naturally" proved to be more successful. It topped the Hot Dance Club Play chart in the US, as well as peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it their first Top 40 hit in that country. The single was also an international success, reaching the Top 20 in 14 countries, including Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom, where it became the first Disney Channel act to enter the Top 10 since Hilary Duff and her 2005 single, "Wake Up".
The album was met with a strong commercial performance. Kiss & Tell debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200 selling 66,000 copies in the first week. It later climbed to a peak of 47 on the Year-End Album Chart. It peaked at number twenty-two on the Canadian Albums Chart, after the success of "Naturally". The album was a worldwide success as well, entering the Top 10 in countries such as Spain and Greece. The album also entered the Top 10 in Argentina. In Germany, the album peaked at number 19. In March 2010, the album was certified Gold in the US, for shipments of 500,000 copies. As of February 2012, Kiss & Tell has sold 864,135 copies in the United States.
Gomez first announced the album publicly in late July 2008 on an interview with Jocelyn Vena of MTV News. stating, "I'm going to be in a band — no Selena Gomez stuff. I'm not going to be a solo artist. I think that I don't want my name attached to it." After two years of recording and going over one-hundred songs, Gomez announced the name of her band. She explained:
I named my band the Scene because a lot of people are making fun of me calling me a 'wannabe scene,' so I thought I would poke fun [at] that.
Gomez has said in several interviews (including one with Z100 New York) that the band was formed through a long, exhausting audition process. She said it was worth it, though, because she has a great band. However, not long after joining the band, keyboardist Nick Foxer left for unknown reasons, and was replaced by Dane Forrest. Gomez also re-recorded her first charting single, "Tell Me Something I Don't Know", for the album because she recorded the original version when she was about fifteen years old. She calls herself a "huge, huge fan" of Fefe Dobson, to the extent that she included a cover of the Toronto, Canada native's "As a Blonde", which was a song for Dobson's unreleased album Sunday Love on the disc. Writers on the album include Ted Bruner, Trey Vittetoe and Gina Schock of the Go-Go's; who've contributed to the lead single on the album. Gomez co-wrote one song on the album, titled "I Won't Apologize".
Musically, the album drew influences from different artists such as Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga and Avril Lavigne. Gomez said the music is "fun, energetic, empowering." "I'm still new and still figuring out where I want to be musically. But I think this is a good start ... hopefully." Songs like "Falling Down" are upbeat pop songs that contains a strong use of drums and electric guitars with predominant "bloopy synths." Gomez elaborated on the concept of "Falling Down" during an interview, saying "[...] it's basically about Hollywood and what people think about it and essentially how plastic it is sometimes. It's fun and I think girls can relate to it somewhat, for me it was because of Hollywood, but it can really relate to a mean girl, an ex-boyfriend, to whoever." On the song "As a Blonde," originally a Fefe Dobson song, Gomez sings in regards to trying different things and changing up her personality.
Kiss & Tell is composed of songs with pop-rock, electro-rock. "Kiss & Tell" is the first song on the album that tells of a supposed friend that tells her secrets and is described as a feisty electro-rock and punk pop number with punkish guitars, hand claps, shouts of "Hey!" and even a touch of Adam and the Ants jungle drums and bass figures. "I Won't Apologize" is a synth-rock song, co-written by Gomez. It tells about not changing yourself to fit someone else's approval. "Falling Down" is the first single off the album that, along with “Kiss & Tell”, have an aggressive, almost bratty, attack that borrows equally from punk attitude and pop melody. "[...] it's basically about Hollywood and what people think about it and essentially how plastic it is sometimes. It's fun and I think girls can relate to it somewhat, for me it was because of Hollywood, but it can really relate to a mean girl, an ex-boyfriend, to whoever." “I Promise You” is a pop-rock song with synth-pop characteristics. "Crush" is an aggressive rock song that vocally and lyrically sound close to that of Avril Lavigne. "Naturally" is an electropop song that has a juicy and instantly memorable vocal hook.
"The Way I Loved You" is the ballad of the album. “More” is a party/dance song. "As a Blonde" is a synthy pop-punk cover of the original by Fefe Dobson. “I Don't Miss You At All” is an electropop song with techno beat and synthesizer influences about post-break-up and sounds similar to that of the worldwide hit "Untouched" and "This Is How It Feels" by The Veronicas. “Stop & Erase” is an electro-rock song about a painful past with bullies and teasing. "I Got You" is a pop-rock song that, according to Bill Lamb of About.com, is a “mix of sweetness and intensity that seems distinctively Selena Gomez.” "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" is a song that was originally recorded for the soundtrack for Another Cinderella Story, but was re-recorded for this album.
Kiss & Tell was released digitally and physically on September 29, 2009 in both Canada and the United States by Hollywood Records. The album was released in Australia by Universal Music on October 16, 2009. In India, the album was not released until 2010, when Universal Music released the album as a physical release only on April 3, 2010. In the United Kingdom, the album was released by Fascination Records on April 19, 2010, with both a physical and digital release.
Radio Disney premiered some songs from the album from Monday, September 21, 2009 to Friday, September 25: "Kiss and Tell," "Naturally," "Crush," "I Promise You" and "More." On September 26, the station premiered the entire album, with a rebroadcast the next day. The group also performed both "Falling Down" and "Naturally" at the 2009 Teletón in Mexico. They also performed at PopCon in February, along with Justin Bieber. They have also performed live on televised events. On September 29, prior to the record release party, Selena Gomez & the Scene performed live on the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars, to which they received a negative reaction, mainly due to Gomez's vocals. The group haven't performed the song televised since. However, "Naturally" was performed multiple times, including a performance onThe Ellen DeGeneres Show, The song, along with "More" were performed on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest in 2010. Gomez performed both of those songs yet again on Good Morning America, to promote the album. In the UK, the single was performed live on Studio Five, where Gomez also was interviewed.
The lead single, "Falling Down", was released on August 21, 2009.
The second single, "Naturally", was released on December 11, 2009