Now,she's in a much different place: Cabello has a No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Havana”), a tourwith Bruno Mars inthe books, and more than 42 million monthly Spotify listeners on her own. Butperhaps most important, one year after all that drama Cabello is releasingher debut solo effort and reinforcing her already declared independence.
Entitled simply Camila,the album itself went on a journey from announcement to release day. The title's transformation from The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving to just Camila indicates that some serious maturation happened in the creative process; also,the track list consists of just three previously released songs. Despite the feisty “Crying in the Club” serving as Cabello’s official entrance to solo stardom -- and the poignant “I Have Questions” and the sexy “OMG”following that up -- fans won’t find any of those songs on Camila. Whether that move was strategic or more of a fluke, it allows fans to see evermore of Cabello’s artistry on the 11-track LP.
Starting off with the newly familiar, falsetto-laced “Never Be theSame,” the album sees Cabello experimenting with a mix of sounds and lyricalconcepts -- and most interestingly, all considerably different from thevibe of “Havana.” Surrounding the spicy Latin-flavoured smash are balladicpieces of heartbreak (“Something’s Gotta Give”) and, concurrently, more upbeatjams that are a little more insightful (“In The Dark” and “All These Years”).Yet, Cabello’s Latin influence is still felt throughout the entire record,whether it be on the sassy salsa feel of “She Loves Control” or in lyricslike “Grew up in south of Miami/ That’s where I was when you found me” (“InsideOut”).
And whileit’ll be hard for Cabello to top herself after the runaway success of “Havana,”there’s plenty of tracks on Camila thatare as appealing in their own right. The lyrically sensual “Into It” brings thesame kind of sexiness as her hit single, and the piano and steel drum-tinged“Inside Out” serves up a bouncy melody that makes busting a move a foregoneconclusion.
However radio-friendly the nine other Camila tracks may be, something that should certainly be recognized is Cabello’s relentless vulnerability as she sings about the woes of both romantic and friendly relationships. The acoustic “Real Friends” cuts to the core (“Every time I let somebody in/ Then I find out what they're all about”), and tender ballad“Consequences” is just about as raw as they come, with Cabello admitting all she's given up for the sake of a lover (“Loving you was sunshine/ But then it poured/ And I was so much more than my senses”).
The spectrum of emotions and sounds on Camila iscommendable -- and whether the album earns Cabello another massive hit,the 20-year-old can rest assured that she’s created a piece of work that’s adynamic solo career launch pad. As a girl who got her start as one offive, Cabello has vocally, lyrically and impressively established that she wasalways meant to be simply Camila.