Album Review: Camila Cabello ‘Camila’

Get Into It! Inside Out ‘Camila’


Camila Cabello had quite a lead up to releasing her solo debut album. Formerly (and dramatically) titled The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving, the album rollout began in mid-2017 with a series of false starts. However, Camila’s road to solo stardom began years ago. Fans initially foresaw solo potential in Camila when she joined Shawn Mendes on his 2015 hit “I Know What You Did Last Summer”.

Ups and downs continued for the Fifth Harmony vocalist. She announced her departure from the group in December 2016, right as her Machine Gun Kelly duet “Bad Things” was blowing up. Had Camila prematurely outgrown her X Factor bandmates? Just that past summer, the quintet achieved their biggest hit single “Work From Home.”

Fast-forward through much of 2017. Singles like the Sia-penned  “Crying In The Club”“I Have Questions” and “OMG” led to a number of false starts. However, she finally found her footing in “Havana” with Young Thug (released alongside “OMG” in August). “Havana” finally generated enough steam and became her newly retitled Camila’s first single.

Camila

OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and “Hands To Myself” co-writer Justin Tranter lend Camila a potential smash with seductive jam “Into It”. The song could easily be Selena Gomez’s “Hands” 2.0!

The Island leanings and Latin vibes of “Havana” reappear throughout the album. The Skrillex produced “She Loves Control” finds Camila proclaim “She loves control/She wants it her way/And all it takes is just one taste/You wanna give it up.” “Inside Out” could easily house a Drake verse/remix to make a perfect summer jam.

Cabello slows down the vibe on much of the album too. Prefer the softer side of her like second single “Never Be The Same,” or perhaps 2017’s promo single “I Have Questions”? The stripped back piano ballad “Consequences” and the haunting “Something’s Gotta Give” are perfect, and explore the depth of Camila.

Despite the lengthy start-stop-go build up, Camila stays on the safe side. She doesn’t step far outside her comfort zone or tackle areas her contemporaries (Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and co.) haven’t already mastered. Perhaps the most impressive feat of this solo album is that it truly is (Young Thug feature aside), a solo album. Here’s to hoping she made the best decision for herself in the long run.

Score:
65 / 97

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