#REVIEW: CAMILA CABELLO – “CAMILA”
Those expecting another Fifth Harmony Album in former member Camila Cabello‘s debut Sony Music solo disc might just be a tad surprised. What we get instead on eponymously-titled CAMILA is something unmistakably Pop, but much more introspective, personal and layered than one might have imagined.
We’ve all heard lead single Havana (ft. Young Thug). We were neither here nor there with it when it first surfaced in September, but alas we could not resist its infectiousness as the airwaves were inundated with the essence of that Cuban spirit which Cabello so proudly declares. The sound of that trumpet solo towards the end of the Track had us air-playing along as we waited in traffic and even that middle-aged Eastern European man at the office was caught right-handed humming its catchy “Havana-ooh-na-na” hook.
While we’ve read from multiple sources that the Disc is heavily Latin-inspired, we have our doubts these people gave the Album a thorough enough listen. Other than the lead single, much of the collection veers to understated Electronic-Pop. Second single, the dark and melancholic Never Be the Same which likens sweet love to a “heroine, nicotine, morphine” hit is a better representation of the Album’s overall sound.
Cabello isn’t quite concerned with showing-off her skill in vocal acrobatics like some of her peers. Her voice possesses a distinct raspiness and ring in her upper range, and while occasionally she throws-in some flourishes, it is clear she is more pre-occupied with telling her story. Her story is one of reflecting upon heartbreak on ballads Consequences, Something’s Gotta Give and the minimalistic All These Years. Another recurring theme is Cabello‘s feeling disconnected from her celebrity, more than once mentioning “L.A. doesn’t feel like home” on In the Dark and Real Friends where she sings “This paper town has let me down too many times”.
In fact, things don’t often get as fun as you’d expect for this newly-solo Pop Star but they do get so late on the highly-danceable Into It on which both giants Justin Tranter and Ryan Tedder have writing credits. Cabello certainly has found her musical match in Grammy-winning Producer Frank Dukes (Drake, Travis Scott). And though she might only be 20-years-old, she possesses a hardened wisdom beyond her youth. You hear it in her voice, you feel it in her lyrics. CAMILA might not be Cabello‘s peak, but it is a solid introduction to an Artist we want to know more about.
Our only complaint? Crying in the Club and Bad Things should have been included as Bonus Tracks.
Sony Music Entertainment release CAMILA, in stores and out digitally now.
Don’t forget, we’re giving Readers across Canada a chance to win a copy of CAMILA on CD! More here.