Camila Cabello has always been the strongest candidate from the girl group Fifth Harmony. When fans mourned her leaving from the group just a year ago, they all wondered what would happen next and how Cabello would shine on her own. But the wondering is a thing of the past because it has been proven time and time again that the Songstress is doing just fine on her own.
Cabello now has the No.2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with her lead single “Havana,” a tour with Bruno Mars under her belt and more than 42 million monthly Spotify listeners. One year after all the drama, leaving an old dream behind to pursue an even bigger one has led her to release her debut album entitled Camila.
It’s been a journey watching Cabello grow into the artist she showcases on her debut album. We may have heard the feisty “Crying in the Club” or emotional “I Have Questions” before the release but these tracks didn’t make the cut when it came to picking the tracklist. But the move to disregard those songs was a smart one, as fans don’t see the radio-friendly Cabello on the album but instead, they have the pleasure of getting to know her as a true artist who’s mastered her craft.
Camila isn’t an album that attempts to draw a bigger audience with massive hits or party tracks. Instead, it’s an LP filled with raw and poignant emotion, mixed with deep and personal lyrical concepts. If you’ve ever been through hardships or pain, Camila might just be right up your alley. “Havana” is a hit but interestingly enough, nothing else on the album is considerably like it. Every track stands on its own but blends perfectly well as a whole. It’s spicy, balladic and satisfying to the ear. While nothing is seemingly close to “Havana” on the album, her latin influence is laced throughout the entire record, making it different than everything else that is out today.
“Never Be The Same” is the perfect opening track into introducing the album. It’s an upbeat, flirty song that will make you want to listen to it on repeat, which is exactly what it deserves. But things take a surprising turn with “All These Years,” an acoustic, Latin driven track about not confessing a love after all this time. The lyrics are insightful and offers an upbeat melody to an album that fits into the mold of raw vulnerabilities.
“She Loves Control” is another upbeat, sassy influenced song but isn’t a standout among other salsa feel tracks like “Inside Out” or “Into It,” the two most radio-friendly on the album. Apart from the sound and rhythmic feel, Cabello proves herself to be a quality songwriter in “Consequences,” and “Something’s Gotta Give”. “Dirty tissues, trust issues /Glasses on the sink, they didn’t fix you / Lonely pillows in a stranger’s bed / Little voices in my head /Secret keeping, stop the bleeding / Lost a little weight because I wasn’t eating /All the souls that I can’t listen to, to tell the truth” she sings with a quiver in her voice on “Consequences”.
“Real Friends” is another track where we see Cabello shine lyrically and vocally( “Every time I let somebody in/ Then I find out what they’re all about”), cutting to the core of those who’s ever lost a friend. “Into the Dark” is an upbeat tempo narrative of Cabello asking her lover who they really are in the dark, making the album complete with every side of emotion one person can feel.
The spectrum of life, loss, pain, and love filled on Camila is commendable, earning Cabello a solid, and powerful debut. If there’s anything you need to know about the former Fifth Harmony vocalist is that she’s proven to be a fantastic solo artist and Camila is the perfect launching pad for a life-lasting solo career. Whoever she may have been when she was in Fifth Harmony is what led her here and reveals to all of us that she was always meant to be simply Camila.
You can stream Camila now on Apple Music .