Camila Cabello got her first taste of stardom back in 2012 when she auditioned for The X
Factor. After her elimination, she was later called back with four other girls. They eventually
became the group “Fifth Harmony,” which was formed by A&R genius, Simon Cowell. After
being picked up by Simon’s label, they released three successful studio albums together.
Cabello attempted to have musical freedom and work on her solo career while continuing to be
a part of Fifth Harmony, however she didn’t receive the support she expected and quit the group
to establish her artistic vision. Camila puts her foot down with confidence in her new album,
stunning her fans, as well as the newly acquired ones, including myself.
Camila is not the first time we hear from the young star since she departed from Fifth Harmony. She released multiple singles in 2017, some of which were not featured on the album like “I
Have Questions” or “Crying in the Club.” This is however, her first solo album since the split.
Camila’s self-titled debut album has a little bit of everything one might want to listen too; from
acoustic sing-alongs, to upbeat hits, or even a radio friendly song with Young Thug. This album, Camila, which was originally named The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving. before Cabello decided to change the album’s name, is for the lovers of Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and Taylor Swift. The album portrays dark messages, confessions, and a typical “love gone wrong” theme but is rendered in such a joyful and pleasant way that stands far from a pessimistic tone. Although generically themed, Camila emphasizes her unique voice and sultry sounds, resulting in a seamless blend of diverse musical styles that certainly give us a sense on who she really is.The album starts slightly slower than one would expect a pop album to start. The mid-tempo progresses into a unique Latin flair with breathy, high-pitched, and catchy hooks.
The use of reggaeton drums with a pop beat and finished off with guitars in “She Loves Control” is a perfect example of Camila’s unique blending of styles. Another favorite on the record is “Inside Out,” which begins with a happy beat, giving the listeners a Caribbean feel. Camila’s
sweet voice draws us into the song and leaves us singing “I want to love you inside out” chorus
on repeat. Camila interchangeably switches between English and Spanish, which is another
unique cultural element incorporated throughout the album. Listeners can almost picture the
warm Miami air blowing through Camila’s hair as she dances to the beat of the steel pans. “Real
Friends” prove that Camila doesn’t need a fast tempo or foghorn voice to depict her issues with
trust and “finding a place to call home”. Camila sings about her lack of real friends with a
breathy and soft voice and acoustic rhythms.
Although it is slightly extreme for a twenty year old girl to use “nicotine,” “heroin,” and “morphine” as analogies for love, the album is a total hit in my eyes. Cabello’s split with Fifth Harmony might have been a blessing in disguise resulting in success with her artistic vision. Cabello’s natural voice is breathy and raspy, yet soothing and almost carefree. Her voice is powerful and unique. She successfully pulled off the “love gone wrong” theme and proves that if she can get through a bad breakup, being it a romantic relationship or her formal girl group, we can certainly do so as well.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Give a listen too: “She Loves Control,” “Havana,” and “Real Friends.”