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  • ruby crowhurst



Alessia Cara's new album is a distant cry from her previous releases filled with teen angst, and instead brings the contemplations of an older and wiser version of herself still figuring things out.

In The Meantime mixes tropical beats with influences from all sorts of other genres, such as jazz-like saxophones, and flows that feel closer to R&B.

With this newest release, Cara has truly mastered the art of putting the deepest lyrics on top a groovy beat which allows the meaning to be somewhat disguised on the first listen; and its not until you really hear the words that you see the anxiety the album is filled with. Relatability has always been the Canadian's strong suit, and that still stands within The Meantime.

'The Middle Ground' is a smooth collaboration, which talks about the feeling of not wanting to get hurt but still wanting to love and being in 'the middle ground' of that. CHIKA's sleek and slow style of rapping perfectly matches the relaxed feel of the song.

In The Meantime has to be one of the most cohesive albums released this year, with each song flowing so effortlessly into the next it can be difficult to pinpoint where one ends and the other begins. This allows the album to really feel like one piece of work, rather than several singles planted together which recent years have seen a lot of in the industry.

This being said, there is variation across the tracks in the level of production and influences outside of Cara's distinctive vocals; 'Bluebird' has a very simple guitar-based instrumental whereas the song that follows, 'Lie To Me' is much heavier on the instruments as well with production elements on the vocals including harmonies and an electronic buzz at certain points in the chorus.

The only significant negative point to make is the album feels too long. At 16 songs long, and with all the songs having consistent energy and flow, it feels like it easily could have been cut down a few songs so it doesn't drag on too much. However, it's not offensive that it's so long because of the low-key nature of the album, so although there could have definitely been some editing, it's certainly not the end of the world.

Overall, Alessia Cara's third album was far from disappointing and continued her constantly good track record of album releases. She may not be at the forefront of the music industry anymore, but she's more consistently good than most people at the top are; which is something special in itself.


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