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New Music Friday: “Camila” | A review.

I woke up this morning and saw the headline, “Camila Cabello’s debut album is breaking records,” and a part of me is proud to see that girl who started with the X-Factor’s Fifth Harmony in 2012 do so well. The other part of me was sad that it couldn’t work out with my favorite girl group. As a huge 5H fan, it was bittersweet. In a perfect world, they’d all be happy for each other. But that’s none of my business. 

Camila Cabello left Fifth Harmony over a year ago and has been working on making it solo [even when she was with the group]. In 2016 she collaborated with artists such as Shawn Mendes and Machine Gun Kelly, and in 2017 began her solo journey by releasing her first single, “Crying in the Club.” To be honest, I wasn’t really a fan of that song, but after that she had several hit singles and features including my personal favorite, “Havana.”

Today, she finally released her first solo album, self-titled “Camila”, formerly known as “The Hurting, the Healing, the Loving” . According to Billboard, it has reached the #1 spot on iTunes in over 90 countries all over the world. She’s proven to be a force to be reckoned with.

Let’s get to it!

  1. “Never be the Same” – This track was released prior to the whole album release. To me it sets the tone of the whole album – reminiscent of love and relationships. She talks of an intoxicating love, someone who comes along and leaves a huge impact on her life. I’m not sure if it’s a positive impact, but the girl sounds addicted to this love. It’s one of the few electronic tracks, but it’s not overdone. She has a lot of control in the song.It sounds like the Camila we’re so used to hearing (in 5H), but also a little toned down.
  2. “All These Years” – Because I’m a sucker for slower tracks, I love this song. It’s not a ballad or anything like that, but it has a stripped down, acoustic sound I love. Keeping in tact with the love, she sings about reuniting with a past love, maybe the one that got away? I think about these things too, Camila, so I totally get it. It’s definitely not a song you’d expect to be dancing to during your nightlife shenanigans.
  3. “She Loves Control” – After “All These Years,” we are hit with a more upbeat song, with a little Latin flavor. It’s doesn’t reach the level of “Havana”, but it’s enough to get you moving. Camila is most definitely singing about herself in the third person. She loves control, so you better let her have it.
  4. “Havana” feat. Young Thug – As much as I love this song now, it took me a while to get into it. This song is what today’s kids call, “lit”. She takes the listener back to her roots, where she was born and raised. It’s another track with Latin flavor and it’s more upbeat. It’s more so an ode to her home town rather than a past love. It’s also the only track with a feature, but I’m sure it would have been a hit otherwise. Daddy Yankee appeared on the remix for this song with Camila singing Spanish for the opening verse.
  5. “Inside Out” – I’m still trying to figure out what this song sounds like. I’m getting a more pop, island, mellow vibe, if that’s even thing. However, it doesn’t feel like it fits in the album, as it’s the most diverse. Honestly, it’s not my favorite, but without a doubt it’s another upbeat song that will get you bopping your head.
  6. “Consequences” – The album seems to shift at this point – it goes from upbeat to a little heartbreaking. “Consequences” is another slower track with that stripped down feeling. The piano melody is simple and paired with Camila’s vocals, the song hits you right in the feels. As I listen to the lyrics and the ending, “Loving you was sunshine, but then it poured. And I lost so much more than my senses, ’cause loving you had consequences,” I sit here wondering who broke Camila’s heart. Lyrically, this proves that Camila has a way with words and is blossoming into a more experienced songwriter.
  7. “Real Friends” –  This was another track that was pre-released. It was released alongside “Never Be the Same” and was clearly different from the opening track. “Real Friends” is actually my favorite track on this album. It’s another stripped down track with an acoustic guitar and when I first heard it last month, I knew I had to learn it. Anyways, this song, to me was the most heartbreaking. It’s not a love song about some guy who broke her heart, but a song about trying to find, what the title suggests, “real friends.” It touched upon “feeling so alone in every crowded room” and that became one of my favorite lines. One could easily think that this was inspired by her fall out with the members of Fifth Harmony – just when I finally thought I was over it.
  8. “Something’s Gotta Give” – Continuing on with the heartbreak, Cabello keeps it slow in this track. If you’ve ever heard, Bruno Mars’ “Talking to the Moon,” this song has a similar sound to it. That addictive love she sang about in the beginning seems to come to an end in this track. Again with the lyrics, we’re hearing a more mature Camila Cabello. It’s definitely a break up track you’d be singing along to when going through a heartbreak.
  9. “In the Dark” – As I listen to this song, the line “LA doesn’t feel like home” makes me feel like Camila has a love/hate relationship with the city, or more so the LA lifestyle. It almost feels like a follow up on “Real Friends” as she has a conversation with someone caught up with the LA lifestyle, asking them to bear their truths and come clean “in the dark” so to speak. This song also ends the vulnerable sound we heard in the last few songs.
  10. “Into It” – The vulnerability is completely thrown out the door with this song. She shows us her sexy side with this track starting off with the line, “I’m not a psychic, but I see myself all over you.” This song is where the album comes full circle. She starts this relationship then goes through the heartbreak and then gets over it and starts again. She’s confident in this one and to be honest, this has a Fifth Harmony sound if that makes sense

Overall, this album kind of went through different stages in a relationship. Again, a lot of it was stripped down and vulnerable. We saw a more mature side of Camila Cabello, but also a softer side. When she was in Fifth Harmony, she always seemed to make herself stand out and that she did. But with this album, I didn’t feel like someone was trying too hard. There weren’t elaborate voice tricks or an overload of runs – it didn’t feel forced, if that makes sense? She also had the chance to showcase her song writing skills and creativity, which any artist would be happy to do.  Camilla Cabello proved she isn’t just a one hit wonder or girl group has been. With the success of her singles and the clear success of this album, she can make it on her own.

What are your feelings on the first solo breakout of Fifth Harmony?

xoxo,

Adele

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New Music Friday: Fifth Harmony

As a self-proclaimed harmonizer, I’ve been patiently waiting for Fifth Harmony’s third studio album. I remember loving them on the X-Factor when they were these 5 teenage girls back in 2012. My favorite performance of theirs was “Anything Could Happen” and at that moment, I felt like that performance was their turning point in the competition.

After finishing off the X-Factor in third place, their EP “Better Together” was released the following year and included their first ever single, “Miss Movin’ On”. It became an anthem for all the young girls getting over a break up.

Now they are all grown up and sans a fifth member. But they are still Fifth Harmony. And I’m still #5HAF.

This time around they are a little less pop and a lot more R&B with a small tinge of hip hop, giving listeners like me a nostalgic vibe going back to Destiny’s Child and Danity Kane.

Let’s take a look at the tracklist for their self-titled album, “Fifth Harmony”:

  1. Down” featuring Gucci ManeTheir self-titled album starts off with “Down“, their first single off the album featuring Gucci Mane. This song is super catchy much like past singles like “Worth It” & “Work From Home”. “Down” is the only record on this album that has a feature and it was quite interesting to me that they got Gucci on it. I guess he’s making a come back. The music breakdown during his verse is my absolute favorite.  The overall message: You got my back, I got yours.
  2. He Like That
    Along with the release of their album, 5H released the music video for this record. It’s definitely a lot different from past music videos, but there is no doubt the girls are confident and sexy.  They’re rocking the “pumps and a bump” as they sample the MC Hammer song. The girls have said that this was one of their dirtiest songs and while it’s far from what we’ve heard before, it’s absolutely great.
  3. Sauced UpThis is THE party jam! They’re of age and celebrating their youth just like any 21+ year old should. They’re out to dance the night away and fall in love with the night. It sounds like they’re all down for a good time – good vibes only. No one will ruin it. I’m still sitting here trying to figure out which song is being sampled. It sounds so familiar!
  4. Make You Mad“”I’m gonna make you miss me. I’m gonna make you mad. I’m gonna make sure i’m the best you ever had.” I would say this song is self-explanatory. It insinuates a sexy night out. There’s more of an electronic feel on this track compared to the others.
  5. Deliver“This track sounds a lot like the past Fifth Harmony we’ve heard. It’s between the pop and R&B and gives off that 90s vibe. It feels so familiar and definitely makes you want to get up and jam. They delievered with this song and it’s one of my favorites of the album.
  6.  “Lonely Night“In this track, the girls spell it out for any guy who’s trying to keep a relationship with them. “Get ya shit together,” enough said. You have to be a family man with no girls on the side. If you’re disrespectful, then don’t waste our time. “Lonely Night” is definitely an anthem in the making!
  7. Don’t Say You Love Me“This is another one of my favorites. It seems to be another track that is an ode to past Fifth Harmony sounds. It’s one of the slower tracks, but it’s not exactly a ballad. It is one of those love songs that kicks you right in the feels. They’re in it for the long run, so if you’re not don’t make any promises. Lauren starts the song, “Don’t say you miss me, when you don’t call…” and then Ally ends the song with the lyrics,”Don’t say you love me, unless you do…” and i’m almost in tears. I’m getting major “Who Are You” flashbacks.
  8. Angel“5H delves into the trap/electronic scene with Skrillex and Poo Bear. It’s a great beat and they give zero cares as they perform. They’re not angels and they make sure we know that.
  9. Messy“I don’t know why, but I really love this song. Is it the fact that they sample Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me”? Yeah, it’s one reason. It’s another slower track and while I love the music to dance to, I’m a sucker for slower songs because I feel like there’s a lot more feelings. I guess that’s the main reason why this is my favorite. They are pouring out their heart and soul in the lyrics. They admit they aren’t perfect and it’s super vulnerable and beautiful.
  10. Bridges“”Bridges” is the track least like the others. It’s more pop than the rest, but it has the most important message out of all of them, #LoveOverHate. With everything that’s happening in the world, this song of coming together and building “bridges” is something that I would hope will spread positivity amongst all of the negativity in the world.

Overall, Fifth Harmony has proven they can get over hurdles and still conquer in the business that isn’t that great to girl groups. Their sound has matured and it’s great to know that they had control over the making of the album. They are a little more sexy and a little more edgier and I love it because they are embracing their youth. In fact, this is their first album that has an “explicit” label warning!

They have a mix of tracks to dance to and tracks to sing in the shower to. And to me, most importantly, their voices still compliment each other and there’s no one overpowering another. Also, I absolutely love Lauren’s voice.

Now, I realize this review is a bit biased. Believe me, there are songs that i’d skip, but overall I think it’s a great album, especially after all the drama surrounding it.

Anyways, I can’t wait to see them in concert. Yes, I’ll still go see them even though I’m a grown woman. I’ve seen them perform like 5 times and I plan to continue on.

Once I get my CD in the mail, i’ll be popping it into my car like i’ve done with the past albums and I’ll be blasting it. I still have 7/27 in my car stereo!

You can stream the new album on Spotify or Apple Music and download on iTunes!

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/5aB1cocy4MjfE1bCunuvp1

What are your thoughts on Fifth Harmony’s self-titled album?

xoxo,

Adele

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