What You Need To Know - January 12, 2018

Camila Cabello's Camila: What You Need To Know
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Camila Cabello's Camila: What You Need To Know

After four years and two albums as a member of Fifth Harmony, Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello decided to call it quits on the group and go her own way at the end of 2016. Since then she's been working hard on her solo debut album and scored a huge hit with 'Havana', but this week her first album as a solo artist finally arrives in stores. It's called Camila, and here's everything you need to know...

A little background...

Cabello seems to have wasted no time since her departure from Fifth Harmony in December 2016; by May the following year she'd already released her first single, 'Crying in the Club', co-written with Sia and Benny Blanco. Two more followed shortly after – 'I Have Questions' and 'OMG' - the latter originally intended to the lead-off single for her debut album, although the song was eventually dropped from the standard version.

Around the same time as the arrival of 'Crying in the Club', Cabello also announced that the title of her debut album would be The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving, although the singer later had a change of heart about the name and by November last year she revealed that the new title would simply be Camila, and that it would arrive “early next year”, which brings us around to today.

Who's producing it?

Frank Dukes acts as executive producer and handles production duties on the majority of the album's 11 tracks, although there are also production credits for Jarami and L.A.-based production duo The Futuristics.

Any special guests?

In terms of guest performances, Young Thug puts in a shift on 'Havana', which also features Pharrell Williams on backing vocals, but other than that it's all Camila here.

What does it sound like?

Even if you've never been a fan of Fifth Harmony's output, it's likely that Cabello's ubiquitous mega-hit 'Havana' will have drifted into your ears at some point and it's packed with the kind of Cuban/Latino vibes you might expect given its title and the singer's background, but elsewhere there's quite a lot of scope on offer across the album's 11 songs.

'Real Friends' is a sparse, stripped-back number that's mostly just guitar and voice, providing a showcase for Cabello's impressive vocal talents. 'Never Be The Same', by contrast, is a full-on anthem that provides the perfect opening salvo for the album. Other highlights include 'All These Years' and 'She Loves Control', both of which are typical of the strong melodies on display right across her debut LP.

Does it deliver?

There have been plenty of instances where members of vocal groups like Fifth Harmony and others that have emerged through shows like The X-Factor have decided to go it alone, and the results of have been pretty mixed, but in Camila Cabello's case it seem like the right decision and it's clear from her debut that she's enjoying the freedom of being a solo artist. It helps, of course, when you already have a huge hit like 'Havana' in the bank, but there's plenty here to illustrate that the song was no fluke and the future looks very promising for an artist who is clearly enjoying exploring her own identity. Even if you've never been a fan of Fifth Harmony, but enjoy pop music in general, this is an album worth investigating.

Camila Camila Cabello

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