Album review: Camila Cabello’s debut solo album packs a unique punch

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Every popular band has an inevitable end. The likes of *NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys and One Direction have all reached their career plateau after what fans perceive as a short-lived run. Fifth Harmony, the X Factor-championed group, has proven to be no different.

While the remaining members of the group remain intact (for now), Camila Cabello has found her path on a solo career, releasing her first album just last month. The self-titled compilation has 11 tracks, each showcasing a different piece of Cabello’s extensive list of vocal talent. While the whole album is worth giving a listen, these are some of the production highlights.

The first single of the album, “Havana,” brings a taste of Camila’s Latin roots and catchy lyrics that make it an obvious contender for the best on the album. The Pharrell-produced pop track quickly became Cabello’s most popular, making her the most streamed female artist on Spotify and sending her soaring to the number one spot on the Billboard Top 200. With an alternative version sang in Spanish and featuring Daddy Yankee, the song was intended to fall into the likes of “Despacito” and “Echame La Culpa,” two of the most popular Latin/American hits to find their way into car radios across the world last year. The original, Young Thug version of the track ended up reigning supreme for Cabello, and its attractive and seductive instrumental makes for an extremely memorable song.

“Never Be The Same,” a pop ballad, is sure to be Cabello’s next hit. Unlike most of the album, this track lacks the Latin flavor that the rest of the album packs on, but it does succeed at making you feel something as the listener. First performed in early January, it’s considered the second single from the album, and rightfully so. With lyrics about being addicted to love, Cabello takes the song to the next emotional level in vocals. If you have to choose one track to play on repeat, “Never Be The Same” is it, and it helps if you love love stories, too.

Maybe the most interesting note about “Camila” is the artist writes little to none of the lyrics for the tracks on her album. While this isn’t uncommon in many artists on the radio today, she initially cited her reason for leaving Fifth Harmony as “expressing interest to write lyrics for the group and being denied.” As someone who has shown such interest in songwriting, fans would have expected something originally branded on the solo debut; hopefully, however, this self-titled mix won’t be her last, and music listeners can expect to hear more from Cabello in the future.

Whether you’re a pop, Latin or contemporary music guru, Camila Cabello’s debut album has a little something for anyone who happens to stumble upon it. Behind the ex-girl group persona that Cabello has been branded with, there happens to be an extremely talented artist, and her first album showcases (almost) all of these skills hiding under her belt. If the first two singles have anything to say about it, Cabello might even end up with a greatest hits album one day; the album is worthy of a long listen for bringing a new, unique taste to traditional pop music.

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