For her sophomore record, Alessia Cara has stripped it all back and put her heart out on the line. ‘The Pains Of Growing’ is an honest and raw affair that explores heartbreak, pain and self discovery through a collection of very autobiographical songs. It plays as the big sister to her debut album ‘Know-It-All’ and really inserts a mature styling to her vocal and production delivery. Lead single ‘Growing Pains’ is a RNB influenced pop track that continues the sound her debut introduced and grows on you with it’s radio ready hook. But from there she dives a little deeper into the emotional side of things with songs like ‘Not Today’ which reflects on the hardships that follow a break up and sees her realising that it is okay to bask in that sadness for a little while. The song falls into the contemporary pop and RNB category with soulful elements that elevates the authentic feeling with it’s pulsating and soothing layering. ‘7 Days’, ‘All We Know’, ‘Easier Said’ and ‘Nintendo Game’ follow this trend whilst ‘Girl Next Door’ and ‘Trust My Lonely’ feel a little over done and forgettable. Stripping it completely back with the raw tracks ‘Wherever I Live’, ‘A Little More’, and ‘Out Of Love’ she serves you pure emotion and vocals. But it’s the song ‘I Don’t Want To’ which will completely break your heart in two. “I don’t want to let it show, but I still love you. And how do I let you know if I can’t call you?”. And adding to the personal side ‘My Kind’ welcomes you into her mind with what she wants out of life and her insecurities with quirky little excerpts. This album really is an honest and truthful affair which will have you feeling like you know a whole new side to her. Some of the songs are a little forgettable but that comes with the singer-songwriter genre. She however opens up like never before and truly finds who she is as an artist which is a beautiful thing.