Review: Camila Cabello – Crying In The Club & I Have Questions

 

Camila Cabello goes full force for her solo debut – The former “Fifth Harmony” member enters the pop scene with a radio-ready mid-tempo bop in “Crying In The Club”, while serving emotion and intimacy with “I Have Questions”. As an dual release, the two tracks offer a first look  to Camila’s solo debut album, titled “The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving.”, scheduled for a September 2017 release.

After the departure from girl-group Fifth Harmony (known mostly for their hits “Worth It” and “Work From Home”), 20-year old Camila Cabello faced quite high expectations for the launch of her solo career. Even within the group, Camila was arguably the one “5H” member that stood out the most. Such expectations were increased further with the release of a few solo-projects, all while Camila was (officially) still part of Fifth Harmony (most notably “I Know What You Did Last Summer” with Shawn Mendes and “Bad Things” with Machine Gun Kelly). With such high stakes, it was not surprising that Camila sought help from renowned songwriters and producers – one of them being Sia herself. One thing is for sure, Camila Cabello made quite the entrance in the Pop music scene.

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Starting off with Cabello’s main release, “Crying In The Club” presents itself as an extremely catchy mid-tempo track. The song is easily accessible for most and exceptionally well polished (some may call it “Pop perfection”). Written by Sia, whose most notable solo songs are “Chandelier” and “Cheap Thrills” (in addition to countless hits she wrote for other pop artists), the song definitely has similarities to Sia’s previous works. While the instrumental resembles her own “Cheap Thrills”, Sia’s stamp is also detectable in the song’s lyrics and their delivery (both pronunciation and intonation are arguably Sia-influenced). However, Camila not only pulls it off extremely well, but also embraces these characteristics and mashes it into something that is her own. Crying In The Club, while being somewhat mid-tempo, has more than enough tempo to make it very danceable. One of the track’s strongest qualities is its polished production (the work of Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat, among others). The build up during the verses is clean and leads to a very explosive chorus. The song also shows off Camila’s vocals, especially in the climax at the beginning of the last chorus, followed by some really convincing adlibs.

The track is definitely following “Pop music standards” rather closely and doesn’t break any boundaries within its genre. However, it is probably just that exact quality that makes the song so accessible and grants it that “kick”. In a way, “Pop perfection” is a nice way of describing how Crying In The Club settles within boundaries to produce an extremely good song. On top of that, Camila manages to put her own touch to the song, possibly making it one of the best pop songs of the year.

“I Have Questions” on the other hand is an emotional ballad, written by Camila herself. The song was first featured as an intro to the “Crying In The Club” music video and then later released to iTunes and Streaming services. The strongest features of “I Have Questions” are its lyrics. Thematically, the song revolves around feelings of abandonment and loss of trust. Camila herself has stated that the song is about a very specific person in mind, a friendship that went wrong. Not only “I Have Questions” shows a different side of Camila musically, but it also solidifies her authenticity as an artist.

Whether or not “Crying In The Club” and “I Have Questions” are your cup of tea, one thing is undeniable: Camila Cabello is well on her way on becoming a respected and established solo artist.

Stay tuned for reviews of her new releases “Havana” and “OMG”.

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