camila cabello

Review: From 5 to 1 – Camila is comfortably riding solo

Following the major success of Havana and re-recording her entire album, Camila’s debut shows she’s ready to enter the pop world on her own two feet.

After the success of ‘Havana’, it’s clear Cabello was able to gain more musical control over her material, leading to the scrap of “Crying In The Club/”I Have Questions” and the enhanced Latina vibe throughout the album.

Running at a very short 37 minutes, Cabello shows herself at her most vulnerable. She herself said this is an album full of potential singles, and she’s right. Despite this potential however, each song still somehow manages to be a study in uniqueness. Each track encapsulates its own separate charm that will have you going back individually again and again, though at times this can make the album lack flow and continuity.

The album opens up with the emotional ‘Never Be The Same’ and straight away, she makes it known she’s not just another labels money making machine, forced into a studio to make up-tempo radio-friendly hits. This is her at her lyrical best. “Something must’ve gone wrong in my brain/Got your chemicals all in my veins/Feeling all the highs, feeling all the pain” she sings, so passionately it’s almost as if this is her third solo album, not her first.

But its on the cry-your-heart-out ballad “Consequences” where she really strips back. Accompanied by just a piano, she proves is much more than one would expect from an ex-girl-group-member.

Despite these tracks, she still delivers obvious hits for example the Caribbean “Inside Out” where she effortlessly switches flows between English, and Spanish, showing that this could without a doubt have the same success as former singles “Havana” and “Never Be The Same”.

An obvious standout however, is “Into It” where Cabello hires up and coming producer Frank Dukes to create a Max Martin-esque banger full of synths and kick drums. Don’t assume though that on this album Cabello lacks in lyrical content where she thrives in obvious radio hits. She still manages to carry herself sonically and melodically from start to finish without compromising other aspects, showing that she is a serious contender in the pop-sphere.

Through the 11-tracks, this album, for me, is perfect in some points, as production, vocals, the elements that envelop the feeling of excitement (“She Loves Control”/”All These Years”) and even the “sad” tracks (Never Be the Same/”Consequences”/”Something Gotta Give”).

Overall, “Camila” is a cohesive album that gives you plenty of diverse and different flavours. It’s retrospective, raw, and real.

You can stream “Camila” on Spotify by clicking here.

By Nick Lowe

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