Camila Cabello's new album Familia promises to take her closer to her roots, but unfortunately feels a little too commercial and calculated to be a true representation of the rich culture of her heritage.
Initially, Familia feels like it's going to be something new for Cabella, a real entry into the Latin music that she's dipped her toes into over her career, with the title track that opens with mariachi-esque trumpets. However, as the album goes on, the genre starts to feel more confused and inconsistent. There are some peiees that feel a little out of place within the rest of the Latin pop-fusion which promises so much. Although the collaboration with WILLOW 'psychofreak' should, in theory, work well, with both Cabello's and Smith's individually recognisable vocals and with WILLOW as the internet's new favourite star, but it just doesn't quite fit with the flow of Familia.
This is not to say Familia is a bad album, it isn't, there are many tracks on the project that are catchy, fun and undoubtedly could be radio hits. 'Bam Bam' with Ed Sheeran is the most recently released single, which has a very solid beat combined with Ed Sheeran's ability to make anything he's involved with a hit. The repetition of the 'Así es la vida, sí' throughout the pre-choruses will not leave your brain from the second you hear it, which feeds into the addictive natue. 'Don't Go Yet', the lead single, also is one of the stand outs of the album, which makes you wonder if the star made the mistake of having the best songs on the album as singles, meaning that there's not much left to really surprise or intrigue when listening to the body of work in its full form.
'La Beuna Vida' also acts as a great pop-Latin fusion that really fits Cabello's vocal tone and the story of the album, and 'Hasta Los Dientes' with Argentine singer-songwriter Maria Becerra has with its Spanish-heavy lyrics and funk influence also stands out as one of the songs that coheres with what Familia is trying to be.
It seems that Familia never really committed to what it could have been. Had Cabello drawn even further to the Latin fusion, invited more collaborations with Latin artists on board, then Familia could have been a stand-out within her discography. Where Familia is successful, it's really successful, but its weaker moments really stand out. If Cabello really homes in on the great aspects of this album for her next release, we could see something pretty spectacular come to light.