By Debra Kate Schafer
Camila Cabello is her own kind of popstar. Although she’s not always polished, she is always herself, and the drama that surrounds her is minimal, focusing on her relationship status or what she wore to an award show.
Returning to the music scene on Thursday, Sept. 5 with her first solo hits since 2018, Cabello simultaneously released two singles, “Liar” and “Shameless.”
These songs are the first releases off of the “Havana” singer’s upcoming project album, “Romance.”
“Falling in love takes you to another world,” Cabello tweeted the day she released her singles. “‘Romance’ is THAT world.”
Cabello’s singles are two vastly different tracks that are done so well that they work hand-in-hand to render meaning and a narrative that delves into an intimate relationship and the current desires, past loves and vulnerable realizations that may come about when falling for someone. That isn’t to say that recent hit, the chart-topping song, “Señorita,” featuring pop singer Shawn Mendes, didn’t do just that as well.
“Liar” dips one foot into modern pop and one foot into Latin dance. There is a seamless blend of creativity that allows the song to be hers. It’s the true sound that she has created and owned up to since her departure from former pop girl group, Fifth Harmony.
“Shameless,” on the other hand, takes a bit of a different stylistic route. It’s as dynamic as “Liar” in the lyrics and meaning category, but the actual musicianship of this record has an edgier feeling. Maybe it’s the guitar licks, the anthemic chorus or the accompanying music video that is already set to be one of the year’s greatest, but I think this single is one of her best to date.
What “Shameless” has, aside from a stellar popstar fronting it, is an element of surprise and modernity that I think a lot of people didn’t expect from Cabello right away, since she has only one full-length record and just a handful of credits to her name – albeit they are all well-deserved.
The entire aesthetic for these songs is one of desperation, art culture, sensuality, fantasy, dreamscapes and otherworldly features. Cabello dons a pair of angel wings in the album work for both singles, and while angels do fit the overarching visual aspect of the tracks, there is an interesting paradox of angelic naivety and innocence with the more vehement sexual and desirable nature of her lyrics.
In her song “Liar,” her signature airy, yet boisterous, vocals sing, “I said I won’t lose control, I don’t want it. I said I won’t get too close, but I can’t stop it. Oh no, there you go making me a liar.”
In “Shameless,” she sings, “I’m shameless, screaming my lungs out for you, I’m not afraid to face it. I need you more than I wanted to.”
Cabello didn’t come to play games. The 22-year old singer/songwriter has the ability to emulate her sheer vulnerability through her performances and passionate lyrics. She wears her heart on her sleeve. So when it comes to releasing heart-wrenchingly honest music, Cabello makes sure to create music that unveils every side of the story she tells.
From what fans are gathering, “Romance” will be Cabello’s dream come to life. It has the prospect of being the telenovela of modern music.
Dance sequences, flames, a multitude of stunning outfits, guys fawning over her, stellar cinematography, thoroughly chilling vocal runs, desperate and relatable lyrics, plus her signature dark beach waves. Could you ask for more?
The popstar rode the popularity of her last album and releases well into 2018, so to see a bit of a different side from her so quickly after her early success is both intriguing and respectable. Why would she want to pigeonhole herself into one style? Why wouldn’t she create what she wants to, in a way she wants to, in order to tell her story?
Owning her sexuality, her adoration for being loved and the idea of wanting romance, she created two tracks that truly set up another world and another era of Camila Cabello.