Album Review: Camila Cabello comes into her own on 'Camila'

When Camila Cabello left Fifth Harmony in their prime at the end of 2016, she wanted her debut album to be a departure from the sound that restrained her gifted songwriting and talent.

In a lot of ways, that’s what Camila, Cabello’s debut LP, represents. In multiple interviews after her split from 5H at the height of its powers, Cabello repeatedly voiced that her main concern with the material 5H was recording was that the songs didn’t fit her personality.

So when she went into the studio to record Camila, Cabello knew that she wanted to create a record that sounded like her and connected to fans on a more personal level than her 5H output. This ideology is the driving force for much of the LP, and one of the main reasons why you won’t hear any of the sonics that dominated her 5H days.

You won’t find many upbeat groovers here, nor booming girl power anthems. What’s in store for the listener on Camila are 11 tracks that have been stripped down to put Cabello front-and-center. On many modern day pop albums, the production usually outshines the artists, but Camila isn’t your usual pop LP, and that’s the best aspect of it.

Sure, Cabello could have gone with the uptempo bass grooves that she did with 5H and the LP would have still been a hit, but she took a giant leap of faith and decided to record an album that is not really pop, but more indie in nature, and what she found was growth as an artist and pop gold.

The only “pop” singles the audience will find here on Camila is the Latin-tinged “Havana” and the mid-tempo ballad “Never Be the Same,” with the latter single leaving audiences gloriously speechless.

“Never Be the Same” is the perfect lead-in to Camila. The song grabs your hand and leads you on a 37-minute journey through the brilliance of Cabello’s songwriting. If anyone had doubts about whether or not Cabello could be successful outside of the 5H sphere, then Camila should put those remaining doubts to rest.

It’s safe to say that Camila Cabello accomplished everything she strived to achieve and then some, and Camila is an album that many will fall in love with. Camila is not only one of the best pop records of the year (so far), but one can easily make the claim that this LP is one of the best pop records ever recorded.

Oh na na.