Camila Cabello was always the breakout star of girl-band Fifth Harmony, but the 22-year-old has returned with a bang with her new 14-track sophomore album, ‘Romance‘, released on December 6.
First track “Shameless” is the beautiful opener for the album, exploding into an intense track about wanting somebody too much to a point where it becomes embarrassing.
The album feels more experimental than her debut album, which I appreciate for Cabello’s young age. In contrast with the album’s opening track, second track “Living Proof” is a soft acoustic song focusing on Camila’s ability to sing in her raspy and high tone. The high voice is not my favourite, but as a young vocalist, we must appreciate the range that is offered on Romance.
Of course, the Cuban-American singer returns with her Latin influence on “Should’ve Said It”, which is reminiscent of Havana, just with less sex appeal. I like that the singer sticks to her roots and does not try to replicate the bubblegum pop image that was embodied within Fifth Harmony. The album shows her maturity and personal evolution, even if her sound is not concrete yet.
I must say, the album is lacking in collaborations, but I do think this was a good decision on Syco and Epic’s part. It is undeniable that Camila sounds stronger as a solo singer, showcased on sweet sexy track ‘Liar’.
The album is an honest ode to Cabello’s new experiences in love, following her debut album, Camila in 2018. ‘Bad Kind of Butterflies‘ and ‘Cry For Me’ are standout track, with Cabello exploring both a haunting sound on BKOB and a sexier, rockier one on ‘Cry For Me’.
I feel the influence of Taylor Swift’s 1989 on this album, appropriate considering Cabello did perform as an act for Swift on her Reputation tour. The personal lyricism is felt on tracks “Easy” and “Feel It Twice”, highlighting the passions and problems one experiences during their first time in a relationship. Interestingly, both albums have a track of the same name, ‘This Love'” both telling tales of their lovers coming backing to them after emotion and physical absences.
Even if the album is basic lyric-wise, it follows a clear direction – the journey of love. The album begins showcasing the feelings of when you fall for someone you are not supposed to, transcending into a lust-filled sexy sound with Senorita, later leading into the overwhelming emotions of admitting to being in love that follow towards the album’s end on tracks “Used To This'” and ‘”First Man”.
Romance is a simple album reflecting Cabello’s growth as a person, rather than as an artist. Considering it is the follow-up to her first album, released less than two years ago, more time is needed to see which musical direction Cabello will follow. What cannot be denied, however, is the album’s consistency, which is always important in new artistic projects.