Camila Cabello has been proving herself as a powerful solo artist since parting ways with Fifth Harmony, the girl group she was put in during her X Factor days.
It has been impossible to escape Cabello's chart-topping track "Havana," featuring Young Thug, in recent months, and her first solo album, Camila, has debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 Albums chart. Her success is undeniable, her voice is unmistakable and her ability to create flawless pop music is unquestionable.
Sure, some of her music sounds like mindless pop meant only for Ryan Seacrest's radio show, but the album as a whole is a dynamic, intriguing and well-balanced compilation. Some songs are slow and sultry ballads about love and loss, while others are upbeat, fun songs to sing and dance to.
The lyrics on Camila are the album's shining characteristic, specifically on "Real Friends" and "Consequences." Those two tracks are musically simple but lyrically memorable, with lines that hit you right in the heart like "This paper town has let me down too many times" and "Every siren that I was ignoring / I'm payin' for it," respectively.
Cabello has received praise from iconic artists such as Elton John, who said in an interview on Apple Music's Beats 1: "There's a vibrancy in her … It makes me feel good, makes me want to get up and dance." Her popularity and skill also landed her a spot opening for Bruno Mars on his 24K Magic Tour last summer.
Cabello, who is Cuban and Mexican, sings a few lines in Spanish, which reference Mexico, in the song "Inside Out." This track, along with "Havana" and the use of Latin musical influence throughout the whole album pay homage to her heritage in a prominent, artistic way.
The singer chronicled much of her album-making experience on social media and through various interviews, and releasing Camila was no easy feat. Cabello initially released "Crying in the Club" as the Camila's lead single, but that song doesn't even appear on the album. She originally announced a different title for the album and later pushed back its release date. The hard, complicated journey to Camila's release shines through each of its tracks.
This album is unique and shows Cabello's personality and grit. She gets intimate through lyrics and exhibits significant improvement in her vocals from the days of Fifth Harmony and even from "Crying in the Club." A variety of instruments and musical influences are showcased throughout — proving she is no factory-produced pop star.
Cabello does nothing but impress with this album. She found her own sound but her work doesn't all sound identical. She shares her path to stardom without making her music sound like a long-winded diary entry.
With Camila, Cabello has already made her mark on pop music and, at only 20 years old, she's just getting started.