The Pains of Growing

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The Pains of Growing
Alessia Cara, wearing a grew suit, stands afront a cream-coloured background with the album title and her name displayed above her
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 30, 2018 (2018-11-30)
LabelDef Jam
Alessia Cara chronology
The Pains of Growing
Singles from The Pains of Growing
  1. "Growing Pains"
    Released: June 15, 2018
  2. "Trust My Lonely"
    Released: October 5, 2018
  3. "Out of Love"
    Released: January 29, 2019[3]

The Pains of Growing is the second studio album by Canadian singer and songwriter Alessia Cara. The album was released on November 30, 2018, by Def Jam Recordings. Its songs were mostly written by Cara, with co-writing from producers Pop & Oak. Musically, The Pains of Growing was inspired by three years of the singer's life that led up to its release. Critics described the album's sound as "big-sister pop",[4] and praised Cara's songwriting ability.

It debuted at number 71 on the US Billboard 200 and at number 21 in Canada. The Pains of Growing was supported by three singles. "Growing Pains", released as the album's lead single on June 15, 2018, charted at number 65 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number 36 in Canada. "Trust My Lonely" and "Out of Love" were respectively released as its second and third singles. Cara promoted The Pains of Growing through a series of public appearances and televised live performances.

Background and release[edit]

According to Cara, The Pains of Growing explores "the nuance and mentality of what it's like to age out of your teen years", as she was 21 during the writing and recording of it.[5] She added that the album is "a little bit more mature, and a little bit more cohesive. It just feels more like a full album. And then conceptually, I know I already touched on it before, but just life experiences and just a lot more transparency".[5] Steven J. Horowitz of Billboard called the album a "more mature, radio-ready body of work".[5] From December, 2018 to January 2019, Cara uploaded videos to her YouTube channel as a part of a series called "The Making Of: The Pains of Growing", in the videos she puts together a collection of behind the scenes for her songs, giving fans a look at how the songs came together in short summaries, she has created videos for the seven songs from her album: "All We Know", "I Don't Want To", "Trust My Lonely", "Wherever I Live", "7 Days", "Not Today" and "Growing Pains".[6]


Cara first performed "Growing Pains" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on June 18, 2018.[7] The singer played most of The Pains of Growing for a media gathering at a Los Angeles studio in June 2018.[5] She released "A Little More" as a promotional single on July 11,[8] and performed "Growing Pains" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that same day.[9] "Growing Pains" was also performed at the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs.[10] "Trust My Lonely" has been performed live at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards and "Out of Love" was performed at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[11][12] Cara shared the cover art and track listing on Twitter on October 26.[13]


"Growing Pains", the album's lead single, was released on June 15, 2018, and serviced to hot adult contemporary radio on June 25, 2018. The song peaked at number 36 in Canada, number 65 in the United States, and number 87 in Australia. The second single, "Trust My Lonely", was released on October 5, 2018.[14][2] "Out of Love" was released to US contemporary hit radio on January 29, 2019, as the album's third single.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[16]
The Guardian3/5 stars[18]
The Line of Best Fit7/10[19]
NME4/5 stars[1]
The Observer4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[20]

Upon its release, The Pains of Growing received generally favorable reviews from music critics. On the review aggregator site MetaCritic, the album holds a score of 72/100, based on 13 reviews.[15] Rob Sheffield, writing for Rolling Stone, awarded the album 4 out of 5 stars, commending Cara's songwriting and vocals and noting her growth from her previous record; Sheffield ends his review by commenting that "all over The Pains of Growing, she’s got a style that’s all her own."[20] NME likewise gave the album 4 stars out of five and commended "The Girl Next Door" as "the most revealing song" on the album, calling the album "impressive and winningly authentic."[1]

Some critics were more mixed in their assessments of the album. Ben Beaumont-Thomas, writing for The Guardian, criticized "some production that sounds suspiciously like focus-grouping" and also deemed the lyrics a "mixed bag", but commended "7 Days" and "A Little More" as "much more affecting." He gave the album 3 stars out of 5.[18] Pitchfork critic Jayson Greene scored the album 6.8 out of 10; he opined that "a few songs here feel like homework assignments done en route to arrive at a better song."[2] However, he also wrote that, unlike its predecessor, the album "has the tinge of a project made with love and devotion" and singled out "Not Today", "Trust My Lonely", "Nintendo Game", "Wherever I Live", and "Girl Next Door" as highlights.[2] In the review for AllMusic, Andy Kellman compared the album to Cara's previous release, stating that "The Pains of Growing is consequently more fragmented and less consistent than Know-It-All, but Cara makes the best of it, generally writing in a slightly wiser and sharper manner from the same introverted homebody perspective."[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

In Canada, The Pains of Growing debuted at number 21 on the Billboard Canadian Albums Chart dated December 15, 2018.[21] On the US Billboard 200 dated December 15, 2018, the album debuted at number 71.[22] Elsewhere, it charted at number 165 on the Belgium Ultratop Flanders chart, number 76 in Australia and number 78 on the Dutch Albums Chart.[23][24][25]

Track listing[edit]

1."Growing Pains"Pop & Oak3:13
2."Not Today"CaraccioloJon Levine2:36
3."I Don't Want To"CaraccioloAlessia Cara2:42
4."7 Days"
  • Caracciolo
  • Wansel
  • Felder
Pop & Oak3:28
5."Trust My Lonely"
  • Caracciolo
  • Wansel
  • Felder
Pop & Oak3:19
6."Wherever I Live"CaraccioloRicky Reed3:05
7."All We Know"
  • Caracciolo
  • Wansel
  • Felder
  • Trevor Brown
  • William Simmons
  • Pop & Oak
  • Trevorious[a]
  • Zaire Koalo[a]
8."A Little More"CaraccioloCara2:26
10."Nintendo Game"
  • Caracciolo
  • Kaleb Rollins
  • Marc Soto
11."Out of Love"
12."Girl Next Door"
  • Caracciolo
  • Rollins
  • Soto
13."My Kind"
  • Caracciolo
  • Mercureau
  • Reed
  • Nate Mercereau
14."Easier Said"
  • Caracciolo
  • Wansel
  • Felder
  • Brown
  • Simmons
  • Pop & Oak
  • Trevorious[a]
  • Zaire Koalo[a]
15."Growing Pains (Reprise)"CaraccioloCara0:59
Total length:45:44

Track listing adapted from iTunes.[26]


Chart (2018) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[24] 76
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[23] 165
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[27] 21
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[25] 78
US Billboard 200[28] 71

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Australia November 30, 2018 Def Jam [29]
Netherlands [30]
US [31]


  1. ^ a b c Levine, Nick (November 30, 2018). "Alessia Cara – 'The Pains Of Growing' review". NME. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Bloom, Madison (October 26, 2018). "Alessia Cara Details New Album The Pains of Growing". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Top 40/M Future Releases - Mainstream Hit Songs Being Released and Their Release Dates". All Access. January 21, 2019. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Morris, Damien (December 2, 2018). "Alessia Cara: The Pains of Growing review – big-sister pop". The Observer. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Horowitz, Steven J (June 15, 2018). "Alessia Cara Discusses New Single 'Growing Pains,' Grammy Backlash & Sophomore Album 'The Pains of Growing'". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Alessia Cara (2018-12-21), the making of: growing pains, retrieved 2019-02-21
  7. ^ "Alessia Cara Performs 'Growing Pains,' Talks Pranking Her Crew on 'Tonight Show': Watch". Billboard. June 19, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Weatherby, Taylor (July 11, 2018). "Alessia Cara Releases New Song 'A Little More' For Her 22nd Birthday: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  9. ^ Schatz, Lake (July 12, 2018). "Alessia Cara performs 'Growing Pains' on Colbert". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  10. ^ Stevenson, Jane (August 27, 2018). "Shawn Mendes big winner at 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs". Toronto Sun. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  11. ^ Crowley, Patrick (November 4, 2018). "Alessia Cara Performs 'Trust My Lonely' at 2018 MTV EMAs". Billboard. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  12. ^ Zemler, Emily (December 5, 2018). "Watch Alessia Cara Perform Emotional New Album Cut 'Out of Love' on 'Fallon'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  13. ^ Arcand, Rob (October 26, 2018). "Alessia Cara Unveils The Pains of Growing Album Art, Tracklist". Spin. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  14. ^ Schatz, Lake. "Alessia Cara reveals new song 'Trust My Lonely'". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Reviews for The Pains of Growing by Alessia Cara". Metacritic. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Kellman, Andy (November 30, 2018). "The Pains of Growing - Alessia Cara". AllMusic. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  17. ^ Bowles, Beth (November 27, 2018). "Alessia Cara – The Pains of Growing". Exclaim!. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (November 30, 2018). "Alessia Cara: The Pains of Growing review – unsteady steps to maturity". The Guardian. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  19. ^ Valliere, Julian de (November 29, 2018). "Alessia Cara's latest embraces both sorrow and self-awareness". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  20. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (November 28, 2018). "Alessia Cara Never Runs Out of Eloquent Coming-of-Age Complaints on 'The Pains of Growing'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  21. ^ "Billboard Canadian Albums: Top Albums Chart December 15, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  22. ^ "Top 200 Albums: December 15, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  23. ^ a b " – Alessia Cara – The Pains of Growing" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  24. ^ a b "ARIA Chart Watch #502". auspOp. December 8, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  25. ^ a b " – Alessia Cara – The Pains of Growing" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  26. ^ "The Pains of Growing by Alessia Cara on iTunes". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  27. ^ "Alessia Cara Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  28. ^ "Alessia Cara Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  29. ^ "Buy Alessia Cara Pains Of Growing CD". Sanity. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  30. ^ "The Pains Of Growing, Alessia Cara". Muziek. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  31. ^ "Alessia Cara - The Pains Of Growing". Retrieved January 26, 2019.

External links[edit]