"Camila" is the eponymous debut studio album by Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello, released on January 12, 2018 by Epic Records, Syco and Sony Music. Originally titled The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving. with Cabello's debut solo single "Crying in the Club" intended as the lead single, the significant commercial success of her follow-up single "Havana" (featuring Young Thug) led the album to be reworked and its original release postponed. As a result, the album was retitled Camila with "Havana" as the lead single and "Never Be the Same" as its follow-up single.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 81, based on 4 reviews, indicating "Universal acclaim ".
It must have been tempting for Cabello and producers including Kanye West collaborator Frank Dukes to try emulating ‘Havana’ a little too closely, but they use trendy Latin and Caribbean sounds sparingly. ‘She Loves Control’ has Spanish guitars and sleek reggaeton beats, while ‘Inside Out’ features steel drums and a mention of Cabello’s upbringing in “the south side of Miami”. Elsewhere, Cabello tries everything from Ed Sheeran-style acoustic pop on ‘All These Years’ and ‘Real Friends’ to bombastic electro on ‘Never Be The Same’. Bizarrely, the latter appears here twice, the second time in a marginally different ‘single edit’.
In fact, Cabello only fails to pull off ‘In The Dark’, a bland hybrid of recent Kesha and Lana Del Rey hits. But it’s not enough to spoil a strong and surprisingly confident first impression.
Reviewed by Nick Levine for www.nme.com.