Camila Cabello – Camila - 2018 Latin Pop - Red Vinyl - Sealed LP
Camila Cabello – Camila
Epic – 8898547222-S1, Syco Entertainment – 8898547222-S1
Vinyl, LP, Album, Red
08 Jun 2018
A1 Never Be The Same
A2 All These Years
A3 She Loves Control
Featuring – Young Thug
A5 Inside Out
B1 Real Friends
B2 Something's Gotta Give
B3 In The Dark
B4 Into It
B5 Never Be The Same (Radio Edit)
Record Company – Sony Music
Executive Producer – Frank Dukes
" Camila Cabello’s sultry, salsa-inflected “Havana” is a keystone for a superstar origin story: Striking out on her own after a bitter split with her bandmates in Fifth Harmony, Cabello realized her creative ambitions with a smash that celebrated her Cuban heritage and helped define a year in which Latin music was ascendant.
Of course, pop careers rarely come into being with that kind of elegance, and Cabello’s own rise to the top of the charts was a little more complicated. “Havana” began its run as a humble summer promotional single, one lacking the supportof label execs and radio personnel alike. It was tossed onto streaming services a few months after her first attempt at a grand debut, “Crying in the Club,” fizzled out just inside the Top 50. And “Crying in the Club” failed to meet expectations because it sounded like Cabello was tracking, note-for-note, a demo pulled from between Sia’s couch cushions. It lacked the qualities that gush out of “Havana” like steam: history, personality, charisma. The tension between Cabello’s two potential futures—a spot in pop’s upper echelon or a decade spent churning out anonymous EDM collaborations and thankless soundtrack work—is what animates Camila, her debut solo album.
Cabello’s flair for the dramatic has always been her greatest strength. It was never difficult to pick her out within Fifth Harmony and when given the chance, she chewed scenery like an overeager character actor. (Listen to her rip through the bridge of weightless trop-house ditty “Write on Me.”) Her performances on the duets that first flagged her as a breakout candidate—the Shawn Mendes sleeper “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and Machine Gun Kelly’s soggy “Bad Things”—verge on histrionic, and that isn’t a bad thing; the emotional intensity of her singing makes up for the volume and density her voice lacks.
Camila shines when it’s light and breezy, giving Cabello the space she needs to cook. “All These Years” and “Real Friends” are gentle and largely acoustic with a hint of Jai Paul’s liquid zip, and Cabello sings with real delicacy about lost love and loneliness. (The fluttering vocal runs she unspools midway through “All These Years” are stunning.) “She Loves Control” is an apt mission statement for a star who soured on girl group life because she couldn’t “explore [her] individuality,” and it shows Cabello can navigate a reggaeton rhythm with the same ease that characterized “Havana.” She effortlessly toggles between English and Spanish on the sun-kissed, steel drum-flecked “Inside Out.” It’s on these songs that Camila makes its strongest argument for Cabello as a unique force, one who can churn out pop hybrids that perfectly suit a shifting pop climate and a changing country.
When the album falters, it’s because it loses sight of this compelling identity. She growls and hiccups her way through new single “Never Be the Same,” but its reliance on a love-drug conceit suggests a novice writer who has room to expand her range. (Cabello worked with a production team led by veteran Frank Dukes, but her writing credit on every song suggests a fertile Notes app.) The overwrought one-two punch of “Consequences”—which sounds a little like her attempt at something like Rihanna’s “Stay”—and “Something’s Gotta Give” slow the album to a crawl. And when Camila interfaces with trends in the larger world of pop, the results are varied. The frothy, flirty “Into It” finds a delightful sweet spot within a Lorde-Carly Rae Jepsen-Ariana Grande Venn diagram, but “In the Dark” is the kind of trap-pop "