Camila (album)

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Camila
The cover image features Camila Cabello in foreground sitting on a small circular table wearing nature themed bra-like crop-top and long-skirt. In the background is a dim-lighted living-room. Above everything, in the middle, spread over whole width, in capitalised and bold format, is written the title 'CAMILA'.
Studio album by Camila Cabello
Released January 12, 2018 (2018-01-12)
Recorded January – November 2017
Genre
Length 36:55
Label
Producer
Singles from Camila
  1. "Havana"
    Released: September 8, 2017
  2. "Never Be the Same"
    Released: January 9, 2018

Camila is the eponymous debut studio album by Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello. It was released on January 12, 2018, through Epic Records, Syco and Sony Music.[2][3] Work on the album began in January 2017, following Cabello's departure from Fifth Harmony, with whom she had released two studio albums and one EP. The project was initially announced as The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving. but was later changed to simply Camila. Primarily a pop record, it incorporates elements of Latin music and R&B.[1][4] The album was executive-produced by Frank Dukes, with additional work from Skrillex and The Futuristics, among others. Cabello also worked with artists such as Sia Furler, Charli XCX, and Ed Sheeran on tracks that were later scrapped. Camila has been met with positive reviews from contemporary music critics, most of whom commended the Latin influences and ballads featured.

The album was originally set to be released in September 2017 with Cabello's debut solo single "Crying in the Club" intended as the lead single, but following the significant commercial success of her follow-up single "Havana", several songs were scrapped, resulting in work on the album continuing and its release postponed. "Havana" has since topped charts in territories such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. "Never Be the Same" was released as a promotional single in December 2017, and was officially serviced for radio airplay the following January as the album's second single, reaching the top 10 in several countries. Cabello promoted the album through a number of interviews and televised performances. She also embarked on the Never Be the Same Tour and served as an opening act for Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour. Commercially, it debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200.[5]

Background[edit]

Cabello first rose to fame as a member of girl group Fifth Harmony, formed during the second season of The X Factor in 2012.[6] The group came in third place in the competition, and subsequently signed a recording contract with Syco Music and Epic Records.[7] The group rose to prominence with their breakthrough single "Worth It" (2015),[8] and achieved further success with the US top-ten single "Work from Home" (2016).[9] Fifth Harmony released two studio albums with Cabello in the group, both of which earned gold certifications in the United States.[10] Cabello appeared as a lead artist with Canadian singer Shawn Mendes on his single "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (2015), serving as her first release outside of the group.[11][12] She next collaborated with Machine Gun Kelly on the song "Bad Things" (2016),[13] which went on to become her first top-ten single as a solo artist.[14] Cabello's solo work led to months of media speculation that she would be leaving Fifth Harmony to focus on a solo music career.[15]

In December 2016, it was officially confirmed that Cabello had parted ways with Fifth Harmony.[16][17] During an interview with Latina magazine, she commented about her choice and future plans, stating "I needed to follow my heart and my artistic vision. I'm grateful for everything we had in Fifth Harmony and for [this new] opportunity, I am less focused on success and more on doing my best and pursuing my artistic vision to the fullest, wherever that takes me."[18] Her departure from the group was likened to Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake, both of whom rose to fame as part of a group before earning highly successful solo careers.[19]

During the recording of Camila, Cabello was featured in several collaborations. She was featured on the Cashmere Cat single "Love Incredible",[20] as well as the Spanglish "Hey Ma"; the latter was featured on the soundtrack to The Fate of the Furious (2017).[21] She further collaborated with Major Lazer, Travis Scott, and Quavo on the song "Know No Better".[22][23] The song was a hit in several European territories, most notably the United Kingdom and France.[24][25] She served as the opening act for Bruno Mars on his 24K Magic World Tour on select dates, performing several songs from her then-unfinished debut effort.[26]

Recording and development[edit]

Work on the album officially began in January 2017. Initial recording sessions saw Camila working with a number of well known producers and writers, including Diplo and Pharrell Williams.[27] While none of her collaborations with the former were featured on Camila, the latter is credited as a writer for "Havana".[28] She further collaborated with Andrew "Pop" Wansel on unreleased songs; Wansel said of Cabello "I never underestimated her talent, but I was not expecting her to have such a powerful vision."[29] Cabello wanted the album to tell "the story of my journey from darkness into light, from a time when I was lost to a time when I found myself again."[30] Songs on the album were meant to lyrically deal with the emotions of hurting, healing, and loving.[30] She recorded the song "Crying in the Club" for the album, written by Sia Furler.[31] Cabello wrote additional lyrics for the song, which lyrically deals with the topic of "healing through the power of music."[31] It was produced by Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat, and Happy Perez.[32] She worked with writer and producer Jesse Shatkin on the song "I Have Questions".[33]

British singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran wrote a demo for a song titled "The Boy" and sent it to Cabello, with Sheeran stating Cabello changed "90%" of the song's lyrics to her liking.[34] He likened the song to "Crazy in Love" (2003) by Beyoncé, describing it as "funk-influenced".[35] Cabello also worked on multiple songs with Ryan Tedder.[36] Tedder praised Cabello's songwriting abilities, claiming to be "blown away" by the songs.[37] He told ABC News "The stuff that we've done and that I've heard, they're gonna get stuff that is very, very contemporary and cutting edge but it feels like her. It's got that kind of Cuban spirit to it."[37] The song "Into It", co-written by Tedder, is the only song from the pair to make the albums track list. Cabello additionally confirmed a song titled "Sangria Wine".[38] Production duo Stargate produced "OMG", a hip-hop-influenced song that features rapper Quavo.[39] The song was co-written by Cabello, Quavo, Stargate, Noonie Bao, Alexandra Yatchenko, and pop singer Charli XCX.[40] The latter went on to praise Camila's writing as well, commenting "Such an incredible writer, she just came with everything, I was like 'Why am I here?' She is crushing it, she was so next level, like I am so honoured to work with her. I was so stoked."[41] Bao and Yatchenko additionally co-wrote the song "Never Be the Same" for Camila.[42]

Prior to the release of "Crying in the Club", rumors began to circulate of a song titled "Good Reason to Go" that was set to be released as her lead single.[43] There was speculation that the song would be about her departure from Fifth Harmony, though these rumors were halted when Cabello announced her official first single.[44] The song appears on the album under the title "Something's Gotta Give".[45] That May, Cabello confirmed another song titled "It's Only Natural" for the album.[46] While on the 24K Magic World Tour, she premiered the then-unreleased songs "Havana", "OMG", "Inside Out", and "Never Be the Same" on the tour.[47][48] Cabello confirmed the songs would be featured on her debut album. She later announced the songs "Scar Tissues" and "In the Dark" would be featured on the album.[49]

Following the surprise commercial success of "Havana", Cabello confirmed that she had chosen to push back the album's release date to record further material. She later confirmed that a lot of the material previously recorded for the project had been scrapped from the final product.[50] She recorded more songs with the album's executive producer Frank Dukes that were influenced by Latin music and contemporary reggaeton, inspired by acts such as Calle 13 and J Balvin.[51] As a result, the album's original concept of hurting, healing, and loving was scrapped in favor of the newly recorded material.[51] She later told MTV "You know, you only have one chance to make a debut album and at this point I have so many songs I'm passionate about. You know those albums where they are clearly songs that aren't as good as the singles. I want every song to be single-worthy."[52] Cabello worked with Dukes' management company Electric Feel, with Dukes executively producing the album.[53] Work on the album was completed in November 2017.[54]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Camila is primarily a pop record, with elements of Latin, reggaeton, R&B, dancehall and hip hop music.[4][55][56][57] The album's lyrical content speaks on themes such as love and heartbreak, while songs such as "Havana" pay homage to her Cuban heritage.[58]

Release and artwork[edit]

Having signed with Epic Records and Syco Music as a member of Fifth Harmony, it was announced merely days after her departure from the group that Cabello had re-signed with both parties to release her solo work.[59][60] She announced the album's title as The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving. in May 2017, slated for release that September.[61] She described the project as "the story of my journey from darkness into light, from a time when I was lost to a time when I found myself again."[30] She wrote, "It was a kind of chapter you never want to read out loud",[62] and explained the "whole album-making process" helped her deal with her emotions.[63] When Cabello announced she had pushed back the album's release date to record new material, it was rumored that the album's title would be changed as well. She confirmed in November that the original name and concept of the album had been scrapped, and that the project would be released "early next year."[54] Cabello announced on December 5 that the project would be titled Camila, and was set to be released on January 12, 2018.[64] Camila became available for pre-order through digital music providers on December 7.[65]

She revealed the album artwork on her personal Instagram account, and explained the name change stating "I decided to call it by my name, because this is where this chapter in my life ended. It started with somebody else's story, it ended with me finding my way back to myself."[66] The cover for the project sees Camila sitting in a dress and flip flops, with the album's title in bold letters in the center of the cover.[67] Billboard described the album's cover art as "gorgeous".[68] The album's cover art and booklet were shot at Little Havana in Miami, Florida.[69] Retail chain Target sold a deluxe edition of the album, featuring a remix of "Havana" that included Daddy Yankee.[70] The album was also released in a limited Japanese edition, featuring the aforementioned remix and the song "I Have Questions", released alongside "Crying in the Club" in May.[71] The album's booklet contains several shots similar to the cover, as well as pictures of Cabello recording the album and childhood photos.[72] The album's artwork was shot by Amber Park.[72] It additionally features a message to Cabello's fans, stating "This album saw me enter the room shattered, and nervous, and insecure, and it's seen me come to life, bright-eyed, and ready for anything. So, in other words..... you have my heart in your hands."[72]

Singles[edit]

Originally, "Crying in the Club" was released as the album's lead single on May 19, 2017.[73] The song reached number forty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100.[74] The song was accompanied by the promotional single "I Have Questions", released on May 22.[75] The songs were performed together in several promotional appearances.[76] The songs "Havana" and "OMG" were released as promotional singles on August 3, 2017.[77] They feature guest appearances from Young Thug and Quavo, respectively.[78] Cabello announced on August 30 that "Havana" would be serviced as the album's second official single after it found early success on streaming platforms; it was sent for radio airplay on September 8.[28] The song eventually replaced "Crying in the Club" as the lead single for the record.[28] "Havana" has since topped the charts in countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.[79][80][81] The song was later released as a remix with Daddy Yankee prior to the release of Camila.[82] Like "Crying in the Club" and "I Have Questions", "OMG" with Quavo was also omitted from the final album track listing.

Cabello released the songs "Real Friends" and "Never Be the Same" on December 7, accompanying the pre-order for the album.[83] "Real Friends" served as the first official promotional single for the album due to "I Have Questions" and "OMG" being scrapped from the final track listing; "Never Be the Same" was announced as the project's second single.[84] She released a music video for the song on December 29, 2017; it features clips of Cabello throughout 2017, including live performances and scenes from the "Crying in the Club" and "Havana" music videos.[85] "Never Be the Same" was released for radio airplay on January 9, 2018.[86] It has, thus far, entered the top ten in some countries as Australia, Ireland and United Kingdom.[87] and has peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[88]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?6.6/10[89]
Metacritic75/100[90]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[91]
The Daily Telegraph3/5 stars[92]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[93]
Financial Times4/5 stars[94]
The Guardian4/5 stars[1]
The Independent4/5 stars[95]
NME4/5 stars[96]
The Observer3/5 stars[97]
Pitchfork6.8/10[98]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[57]

Camila received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 75 based on 11 reviews.[90] Several British publications that reviewed the album a few days before its official release, responded positively to the album as well as Cabello's vocals and songwriting. Kate Solomon from Metro UK perceived the singer's "shaken off the bombastic R&B favoured by the 5H crew in favour of a short, sweet album of fairly understated Latin pop and classic pop ballads."[99] The Times' Will Hodgkinson also pointed out that instead of filled with "high-octave pop bangers", the singer has gone the other way, using sparse production techniques to frame songs about love and longing.[100] Nick Levine of the NME deemed the album a "strong and surprisingly confident first impression."[96] For The Guardian's editor Alexis Petridis, Camila is one of those moments where "the committee approach strikes gold: smart enough to avoid smoothing out the quirks and slavishly chasing trends," he also considered it as a "a product of the pop factory that doesn't sound run-of-the-mill."[1] Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly was as positive as Levine and Petridis, giving the album a B+ she felt it as a "intimate project" where Cabello's voice shines over Latin-influenced songs and powerful ballads. She further commented: "Cabello's voice isn't especially distinctive, but it's instinctually pretty: effortless and warm, with an edge of morning-after rasp."[93]

Patrick Ryan of USA Today complimented the music which the album was built on, labeling it a "vibrant blend of sounds and styles, bolstered by a reliable stable of hit songwriters and producers." Although he also felt that Cabello's over-reliance on AutoTune is "unnecessary" given the strength of her TV and acoustic performances.[101] Sam Lansky of Time magazine stated Cabello proves she has the "chops to stand alone in the spotlight." As did Lansky, Newsday writer Glenn Gamboa believed that with Camila, she proves that she is a forced to be "reckoned with and ready to be one of 2018's breakout stars."[102][58] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone and Matt Collar from AllMusic gave Camila three and a half stars out of a possible five. Sheffield and Collar expressed a similar sentiment: Camila is a personal statement, a "produced set of romantic pop, punctuated by several rhythmically infectious Latin-influenced tracks informed by her Cuban-Mexican heritage."[57][91]

Mike Nied from Idolator found the album an "authentic and cohesive work", and acclaimed the singer's performance for "blending her distinctive brand of folksy pop with a Latin flair" and "delivering an impressive body of work."[103] Similar to other critics, Taylor Weatherby of Billboard noted its "radio-friendly" tracks, but also highlighted the most personal songs, saying "something that should certainly be recognized is Cabello's relentless vulnerability as she sings about the woes of both romantic and friendly relationships." Concluding his review, he opined: "As a girl who got her start as one of five, Cabello has vocally, lyrically and impressively established that she was always meant to be simply Camila."[104] In his article for the website Stereogum, Chris DeVille was positive, noting the tracks range from the most "Latin-tinged club tracks" like "Havana" and "She Loves Control" to "wistful" piano ballads like "Consequences" and "Something's Gotta Give".[105] In a mixed review for The Observer, Kitty Empire noted the album's "processed sound" "achieves cohesion, despite the many production hands on deck." She further added, "the raunchy come-hithers you assume have been dropped in late in the day can be as boring and samey as piano ballads. But here, Cabello acquitted herself well as an R&B vixen."[97] Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph commented, "a few songs convey a charming honesty and vulnerability, perhaps a relic of the album's original themes." However, he argued, "there remains a gulf between the craft of commercial pop and the artistry of confessional songwriting, and there is not much doubt about which has been prioritised on Camila."[92]

Commercial performance[edit]

Upon release, Camila topped the iTunes albums charts in more than 100 countries.[106] On the official charts, Camila debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart, behind The Greatest Showman soundtrack with first week sales of 21,561 units. The chart position marked a career-high for Cabello, who previously reached the number six position with her former girl group Fifth Harmony.[107] In its second week the album fell to number 6 in the UK.[108]

In the United States, Camila debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 earning 119,000 album-equivalent units, with 65,000 coming from pure album sales.[5] Both the chart position and sales figures marked career-highs for Cabello, who previously achieved three appearances in the top 10 with Fifth Harmony. Additionally, Cabello became the youngest artist to top the chart with a debut set since Shawn Mendes's 2015 debut Handwritten.[109] Cabello also joined a list of female artists who have achieved a number-one solo album after reaching the chart with groups, alongside: Gwen Stefani (No Doubt), Beyoncé and LeToya (Destiny's Child), Lauryn Hill (Fugees), Patti LaBelle (Labelle), Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac), Diana Ross (The Supremes) and Janis Joplin (Big Brother and the Holding Company).[110] Cabello topped the Billboard 200, Hot 100 (with "Havana"), and the Artist 100 charts in the same week, being the first female artist to do so since Adele in 2015 and the first overall since Kendrick Lamar in May 2017.[111] In its second week, Camila dropped from 1 to 4 with 43,000 units sold;[112] and in the third week, to number 7 with 37,000 units.[113]

Tour[edit]

On February 14, 2018, Cabello announced the Never Be the Same Tour, her first as a solo artist, through her Instagram account.[114][115] Within a day after the general sale started, every date on the tour had sold out.[116] The tour began on April 9, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada at the Orpheum and is set to end on October 23, 2018 in San Juan, Puerto Rico at Coliseum of Puerto Rico. Cabello will also perform songs from the album as the opening act on the Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour.[117]

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition[118][119]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Never Be the Same"
3:46
2."All These Years"
2:44
3."She Loves Control"
2:57
4."Havana" (featuring Young Thug)
  • Dukes
  • Matt Beckley[b]
3:37
5."Inside Out"
3:02
6."Consequences"
Bart Schoudel[b]2:58
7."Real Friends"
  • Cabello
  • Feeney
  • William Walsh
  • Bell
  • Lee
3:34
8."Something's Gotta Give"3:56
9."In the Dark"
  • Cabello
  • Feeney
  • Te Whiti Warbrick
  • Simon Wilcox
  • Madison Love
  • Abrahart
3:39
10."Into It"
2:55
11."Never Be the Same" (radio edit)
  • Cabello
  • Feeney
  • Dawod
  • Olofsson
  • Bao
  • Yatchenko
3:47
Total length:36:55

Notes

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Camila.[120]

Performers and musicians

Production

  • Matt Beckley – vocal production (4, 8), engineering (8)
  • Louis Bell – vocal production (2-3, 5, 7), recording (2-3, 5, 7, 10)
  • Scott Desmarais – mixing assistant (3, 5, 8-9)
  • Morning Estrada – recording (7)
  • Marco Falcone – recording assistant (4)
  • Robin Florent – mixing assistant (3, 5, 8-9)
  • Frank Dukes – executive production, production (1-2, 4-5, 7, 9-10), co-production (3, 8)
  • The Futuristics – production (8)
  • Chris Galland – mix engineering (3, 5, 8-9)
  • Mike Gaydusek – recording (4)
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing (1-2, 6-7, 10)
  • Henry Guevara – recording assistant (4)
  • John Hanes – engineered for mix (1-2, 6-7, 10)
  • Kuk Harrell – vocal production (9), engineering (9)
  • Jarami – co-production (1)
  • Ivan Jimenez – mixing assistant (4)
  • Jaycen Joshua – mixing (4)
  • Dave Kutch – mastering
  • Sean Madden – recording assistant (4)
  • Kyle Mann – recording (4)
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing (3, 5, 8-9)
  • David Nakaji – mixing assistant (4)
  • Bart Schoudel – vocal production (6), recording (1, 6)
  • SickDrumz – co-production (9)
  • Robbie Soukiasyan – recording (4)
  • Skrillex – production (3)
  • T-Minus – production (5)
  • Simone Torres – engineering (9)

Design and management

  • Joey Arbagey – A&R
  • Darren Baber – publicity
  • David Bell – marketing
  • Alla Benyatov – strategic marketing
  • Anita Marisa Boriboon – creative direction
  • Chelsea Donnarumma – commerce
  • Dvora Englefield – publicity
  • Robert Faulstich – business affairs
  • Dalia Glickman – A&R admin
  • Roger Gold – management
  • Celine Joshua – commerce
  • Lisa Kasha – digital marketing
  • Dennis Leupold – photography
  • Maria Paula Marulanda – photoshoot art direction
  • Shannon Mingal – digital marketing
  • Gian Mitchell – management
  • Amber Park – album package, art direction, design
  • Don Passman – legal representation
  • Jermaine Pegues – A&R operations
  • Tyler Pittman – commerce
  • J. Eugene Salomon – legal representation
  • Danny Santiago – styling
  • Peter Savic – hairstyling
  • Ethan Schiffres – legal representation
  • Snoshanna Stone – publicity
  • Helen Stotler – legal representation
  • Patrick Ta – make-up
  • Stephanie Yu – business affairs

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[121] 3
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[122] 6
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[123] 3
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[124] 8
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[125] 1
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[126] 2
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[127] 4
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[128] 1
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[129] 2
French Albums (SNEP)[130] 7
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[131] 8
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[132] 15
Greece Albums (IFPI Greece)[133] 18
Irish Albums (IRMA)[134] 3
Italian Albums (FIMI)[135] 8
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[136] 15
Japanese International Albums (Oricon)[137] 2
Mexican Albums (AMPROFON)[138] 4
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[139] 3
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[140] 1
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[141] 4
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[142] 1
Scottish Albums (OCC)[143] 2
South Korean International Albums (Gaon)[144] 5
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[145] 1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[146] 1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[147] 3
UK Albums (OCC)[148] 2
US Billboard 200[5] 1

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[149] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[150] Platinum 80,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[151] Platinum 60,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[152] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[153] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[154] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

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