Fifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello goes solo

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Jamie Glenn

Former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello embraces her Cuban influences with her first solo album since leaving the R&B pop sisterhood behind. With her self-titled album “Camila,” it is clear out of the gate that Cabello is entering the music scene with an authenticity that our pop scene nowadays hasn’t heard in some time.

Her nod to her heritage mixed with catchy, modern pop beats makes for a heartfelt array of emotional yet trendy tracks. Listeners who are brave enough to reach beyond Cabello’s popular powerhouse of a single “Havana” will discover a more raw and emotional side of the pop star.

Opening songs on this 11-track album offer listeners a more comfortable side of Cabello similar to what we’ve heard before from singles released prior to this album. Tracks like “Never Be The Same” show a familiar side of Cabello but also offer an edge into a diverse lyricism and eclectic instrumentation.

The beat picks up with tracks like “She Loves Control,” where Cabello embraces a more feminine side of her Cuban heritage. This same fast-paced, high spirit sound is also heard with “Havana” and continues on the smooth island vibes of “Inside Out.” These positive and optimistic tracks are where this album shines brightest.

The lights ought to be brought down low for listening to this album’s much more simplistic and emotional songs, such as “Consequences,” in which Cabello unravels the narrative of unhealthy reflections on a past relationship that has since gone sour.

With a stripped down guitar and a smooth vocal range, Cabello makes a call for “Real Friends,” on a track that asks for genuine friendships in a world that can often get lost in meaningless relationships.

We enter a much more vulnerable state of mind with perhaps the best track on the record, “Something’s Gotta Give,” a piano ballad that speaks of the raw truth of a relationship that is far from balanced. Cabello takes this moment of broken sadness to empower listeners who may relate to the track with the heavy, yet real lyricism that is offered.

The beat picks up on the closing tracks “Into It” and “In the Dark.” Although these songs lack fire and personality, they are still fun to listen to nonetheless.

It’s clear that Cabello treated this first album with grace. She looks to recognize the sounds of her heritage while still discovering a sound that’s all her own. This album is at the top of many people’s radar at the moment, but the shelf life of this record may weaken as time goes on given how quickly the music scene is growing and changing.

With a tenderness like Halsey and a fire like Demi Lovato, though she may have some growing to do, Camila Cabello is ready to stand alongside some of the most powerful female voices in pop music.