“Camila” makes her mark

As a fan of  “The X-Factor,” I saw Fifth Harmony become the group it is today, and I felt like I grew up with them in some sense. I loved their first songs, “Better Together” and “Miss Movin’ On,” which were released in 2013. But as I became older and more mature, so did their collective sound and style of music, and I didn’t gravitate towards them as much. Just as I started to move on, Camila Cabello announced her departure from the group, much to my shock.

Since this time last year, Cabello has embarked on her career as a solo artist, and fans have eagerly waited every move she makes. Now, Cabello has the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Havana,” an upcoming tour with Bruno Mars and more than 45 million Spotify listeners. She has also finally gifted fans her debut album, “Camila,” which was released on Jan. 12.

The self-titled debut proved to be popular, quickly gaining the top spot on the Billboard charts by knocking out the soundtrack of “The Greatest Showman.” This feat makes Cabello the first female artist to debut at number one in three years.

Originally titled “The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving,” the album is notably missing three of Cabello’s earlier released singles: “Crying in the Club,” “I Have Questions” and “OMG.”  Despite these omissions, the album has solidified Cabello’s entrance into the solo world, among the likes of Gwen Stefani and Beyoncé.

Opening with the track that has been playing non-stop on the radio, “Never Be the Same,” the album sees Cabello trying out new mellower tones and themes.  “Camila” contains a mixture of tender ballads of heartbreak, such as “Consequences” and “Something’s Gotta Give,” as well as upbeat bops that are infused with her Latin roots―namely, “Havana” and “She Loves Control.”  

Love seems to be a centralized theme in this album. Singing about everything from platonic love in “All These Years” and “Real Friends,” to romantic love in “In the Dark,” and even sensual love in “Into It” and “Inside Out,” Cabello encompasses this spectrum of emotions beautifully. The newer, organic sound coupled with acoustic guitars plays out tremendously in these songs—which is a considerable departure from her earlier, more synthetic hits like “Crying in the Club” and “OMG.”

Although at first I didn’t follow Cabello’s solo activities too closely, I was pleasantly surprised with this album. I wasn’t sure that she could perform well by herself, but “Camila” has solidified her presence in the world of pop music―this time, as a solo artist.


Album: “Camila”

Artist: Camila Cabello

Release: Jan. 12

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars