Who hasn’t felt ‘The Pains of Growing?’: Alessia Cara’s relatable new album

“You’re on your own, kid” are the first words heard on the first track of Alessia Cara’s sophomore album “The Pains of Growing.” If you couldn’t tell from the first line or the album name, Cara’s new record focuses on the struggles she faces in her development as an artist and as a young adult. An album about teen/young-20s angst, “The Pains of Growing” compiles some of Cara’s cheeky observations about growing up and will be highly relatable for college students.

The album is essentially Cara’s bildungsroman, and listeners hear her plight as she develops a new relationship with herself, others and the world. While the singer could be bitter about her troubles, she realized they are only temporary and that she’ll eventually be ok. Cara also adds some quips into her lyrics, marking a novel spin on a common topic.

“The Pains of Growing” offers some variety in song style. While most of the songs are pop, “Comfortable,” about passing the “honeymoon phase” in a relationship, is a sweet retro-style song. “Out of Love” is a slower ballad that captures the end of a romantic relationship.

One of the catchiest songs on the album, “Trust My Lonely” captures the singer’s realization that she would be better off without her romantic partner, who hasn’t been treating her right. The lyrics are empowering, proving that Cara will be fine by herself and won’t succumb to this former significant other’s traps once again.

“Go get your praise from someone else/ You did a number on my health/ My world is brighter by itself/ And I can do better, do better,” Cara sings.

Fans will also love Cara’s authenticity. She wrote or co-wrote every song and really opens up about her feelings in her lyrics. For instance, on “Growing Pains” Cara sings about how she can no longer run from her problems. While she tries to think positively, sometimes things seem like they won’t turn out ok.

“Starting to look like Ms. Know-it-all/ Can't take her own advice/ Can't find pieces of peace of mind, I cry/ More than I want to admit,” Cara sings.

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning’s Lee Cowan, the down-to-earth singer got real about her inspiration for the album and her message of self-love.

She said that while she might risk putting too much of herself out there with her music, her songs can show people they’re not alone, that everything’s going to be alright.

“I think it’s important to do that,” Cara said. “There’s going to be someone out there that is going through something and then might hear a song about me and feel like, ‘Oh, ok, I’m not the only one that does this, this is okay.’”

Another example of Cara’s modesty is “Girl Next Door,” in which she sings about how her toned-down nature is her true, authentic self. It’s an inspiring, uplifting song about how her honest hard work won’t be forgotten. According to Cara, she doesn’t need to act like “Bowie, Prince or Queen” to “do what I dream.”

On the final track, a reprise of “Growing Pains,” the singer partially realized that her problems are all just growing pains. It’s a nice wrap-up of her concept, and her audience knows that she’s definitely headed in the right direction.

Rating: 4.5/5


Stephanie Santillo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.santillo@uconn.edu.