In 2019 Camila Cabello has successfully made herself one of the biggest names in pop. Following her smash breakout success with ‘Havana’ and ‘Never Be The Same’, the Ex-Fifth Harmony favourite has followed up her bold debut album with another emotional tribute to her personal journey.
‘Romance’ is a mature collection of tracks that details the ups and downs of a young adult who is experiencing so many firsts within love, relationships and life, and is having to navigate all the drama and confusion that comes along with those deep moments.
There is a lot of pure acknowledgment of growth and the learning path she is on in life, which is poetically beautiful and universally relatable. There are songs that will have you dancing your problems away, which are then contrasted by songs that will have you feeling highly emotional as you spiral into your feelings.
The strongest and purest moment on the album comes from the personal closing track ‘First Man’. The simple piano ballad is dedicated directly to her father who she thanks for his unconditional love over the years but asks him for his blessing as a new guy steps into her life.
“I swear on my heart that he’s a good man. I promise he loves me, he’d never hurt me. You held me so tight, now someone else can. But you were the first man that really loved me” she emotionally delivers in this beautiful moment.
Within the other thirteen tracks, there are no other real stripped back moments which allow the storyline just take you on a journey, except for the dreamy ‘Dream Of You’ which is a hopeless romantic track that hears her taking a leap of faith. “I was not living, I was just writing about it with my head spinning” she candidly confesses during the synth lead reflection.
For the rest of the album there are darker tones that are represented in tracks like ‘Shameless’ and ‘Cry For Me’ which offer a more prominent approach in grabbing your attention. ‘My Oh My’ is another great example of this.
The Julia Michaels influenced ‘Easy’ and the Ariana Grande inspired ‘Bad Kind Of Butterflies’ offer a different pop flair in between all of the bold experimentation.
But an area of the album that fell flat sonically was the focus on latin influences. Following the success of ‘Havana’ and ‘Senorita’ it felt like she was trying to immolate the success with tracks like ‘Should’ve Said It’ and ‘Liar’ which were average at best.
There is a mature approach to ‘Romance’ which the brief self titled debut hadn’t completely embraced yet and after a few listens you will find yourself immersing yourself into different tracks.
But this is a record that will have listeners needing a few listens to completely embrace it’s form. It’s not as pure pop as you would’ve imagined. There are quite a few different layers to the production and storytelling which take a while to unravel, and there are some mediocre moments that she could’ve reduced down to just 10 songs like her stunning debut to help create that bigger impact.