It’s been a little over a year since singer Camila Cabello left girl group Fifth Harmony, and since then she has made a name for herself by releasing several hit singles and touring with Bruno Mars. She now has taken the next step and released her first solo album, self titled “Camila,” which features her hit song “Havana” and newer single “Never Be The Same.” The album features a mix of fast-paced pop with Latin and R&B tones and slower ballads.
The album, like many pop albums, focuses mostly on love and heartbreak. Some of the slower songs end up being a little dull, but the faster-paced songs shine bright. “Havana” has had a lot of success for its catchy lyrics, mellow-but-still-upbeat feel, and Latin influences, but it is not the best song on the album. Light and fun “Inside Out” and “She Loves Control” and dreamy “All These Years” all showcase Cabello’s amazing voice and her range of talent.
Cabello’s strong suit throughout the album is definitely her voice. Some songs, such as “Real Friends” and “Never Be The Same” have lyrics that seem vapid, but her voice sings them so beautifully that you can look past it. She has always had a flare with her singing that makes it captivating.
Since departing Fifth Harmony, Cabello often complained of not being able to have a say in the music she produced with the group.
“Fifth Harmony wasn't the maximum expression of me individually. My fans are really going to know me from the music I'm writing. My goal is to be brave and open up my soul,” Cabello said to Seventeen Magazine.
She’s stuck to her word, and has writing credit on every song.
She also brings her Cuban roots into a few of her songs, such as in “Havana,” named after the country’s capital, and on “Inside Out,” where some of the lyrics are in Spanish. The cover picture of the album was shot in Little Havana in Miami, Florida, which also adds to the Latin essence of the album.
It’s clear that Cabello has put her heart and soul into the album. Being able to work on this album on her own and be involved in the production has allowed her to find herself and really develop her own sound.
In a booklet found within the album, she left the message, “This album saw me enter the room shattered, and nervous, and insecure, and it's seen me come to life, bright-eyed, and ready for anything. So, in other words..... you have my heart in your hands.”
Personally, I like the album. It feels personal, and it is obvious that the lyrics and the music mean something to Cabello. I do think she has improvements to make, such as with her lyrics, which at times seem a little immature, but as she writes more and works on more solo music I think she will get there. If there is anything I’d say is lacking, it would be some of the lyrics. This is definitely a solid first album, and I look forward to seeing where she takes her music next.
Since its release on Jan. 12, “Camila” has already landed the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s 200, solidifying her status as a successful solo artist. She now joins a list of several powerful ladies who have broken away from groups and found success on their own.
Women such as Gwen Stefani, Stevie Nicks and Beyonce are all on this list. Cabello may not be close to the fame of Beyonce, but considering she has only been on her own for a year, she’s off to a pretty good start.
Melissa Scrivani is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.