Half of My Heart Is In Havana (Camila Cabello, Camila review)

When you start the journey of appreciation, looking back to your roots is the first thing to do, after all it’s what you know best, and heart things are never wrong to share. Just ask Camila.



Camila Cabello – Camila

released January 12, 2018
******* 7/10

Karla Camila Cabello Estrabao, better known by her stage name, Camila Cabello, is a Cuban-American singer and songwriter. She initially got her start as a member of the super popular girl group Fifth Harmony, formed during one of the first seasons of the show The X Factor.

But, she’s no longer part of that group. Duh duh duh.

Working hard behind the scenes, Cabello has had her work cut out for her in separating herself from Fifth Harmony and breaking out as a solo artist, but fortunately for us, she gained some positive attention by collaborating with artists like Machine Gun Kelly, Young Thug, Shawn Mendes, and Pit Bull. Interestingly enough, the singles OMG and Crying in the Club, do not feature on this debut album, even though they were intended for it originally. And I think that says a lot about Cabello’s attention to detail – She considered the public reaction to those songs, and the direction her work was headed in, and chose to keep this pop album within the latin influences that it was building off of, and thankfully it worked.

Havana is now that lead single for Camila, and it just works. Released at the same time as OMG, it was a spontaneous success, and it’s been a huge game changer. Have you seen the music video? It’s a slow burn, which typically doesn’t suit the dance floor, but this is one which I could easily see becoming a song of the year. Those horns are amazing, and if you haven’t heard the *mostly* Spanish remix with Daddy Yankee, please check it out. Yes that Daddy Yankee that featured on Despacito – It’s so good that it hurts, and it might even make you forget that track for a bit.

Can I just say that I think every track is ambitious? There is some honesty

She Loves Control is one of my personal favourites, not only because the unexpected collaboration with Skrillex is quite a good pairing, but it appears to be the point that Cabello finally comes into her own sound. That, and it smartly precedes Havana, which will help it get playback if you’re one of those famous song skippers like my fiancée.

But what about the rest of the album? Real Friends is fairly subdued song, which shares a simalar tone and instrumentation with Never Be The Same and All These Years, but I enjoy it all more because it’s so damn melancholy. As that movie Sing Street so aptly put it, love is the ability to be happy being sad. Happy-sad.

Oh and Something’s Gotta Give just breaks your damn heart to listen to. Who hurt this woman and inspired her to come up with Consqeuences? It’s like someone decided to serve sushi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner eternity.

By the time you get into Into It, I would expect you’d either be into it, or not. And if I were a betting man, I’d wager this will likely be her next single if She Loves Control doesn’t get picked.

Pros: It sounds very different then your average pop album, and it shines especially in the moments where it’s honest and vulnerable.

Cons: Pay close attention, and you can almost hear the points where someone at the record label said, hold my beer, we’re gonna auto-tune the shit out of this, and it’ll be worth it.

Runtime: 36 minutes

Points of InterestSpeaking of her departure from Fifth Harmony, Cabello says “…I am less focused on success and more on doing my best and pursuing my artistic vision to the fullest, wherever that takes me.” That speaks volumes about her, and sounds like a Beyonce or Timberlake move. Fingers crossed.

What likely started as an album about breaking out from a girl group, slowly evolved into something much more nuanced, and while there are the typical elements of love, partying, and heartbreak featured here, the motivations and expressions are a little bit different, which is why Camila Cabello is one to watch.

theories Summarized

I hope you give this album a shot. I myself as sceptical at first, but thankfully it’s been far more impressive then your typical breakout pop artist. And it definitely helps that there is some heart behind this art about Havana; my theory anyway.


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