Release Date: Dec 6, 2019
Record label: Epic
Genre(s): Pop, Vocal, Pop/Rock
Is there a name for the opposite of a break-up album? Because that's what Camila Cabello's sophomore effort Romance feels like: a record as bursting with ecstatic emotion and erotic desire as the exuberant delirium of having just fallen in love. It's a palpable vibe she put on display during her blush-inducing performance of the single "Señorita" with her duet partner (and rumored boyfriend) Shawn Mendes at the 2019 American Music Awards. The performance ended with Cabello and Mendes teasing a kiss, a bold move that left the audience excited for what the rest of Romance would hold.
Love is an ambitious concept and Camila Cabello has spent the latter half of the year testifying that she's in it. Her second album, Romance, follows the same pristine pop cues of her 2018 debut Camila and imbues them with a vision about love so universalized it blurs it out of focus. There's love and there's the performance of it, and Cabello is motivated by both.
Camila Cabello took the pop world by storm when she left X-Factor byproduct Fifth Harmony and released her critically acclaimed solo album, Camila, in 2018. Her Latin-influenced music is back on her sophomore album, Romance, but the vulnerability that gave Camila its soul has been left behind. It would be easy to lump Romance in with the many underwhelming attempts young artists make in an effort to transition into selling sex and love as they enter their early 20s. But it's not the subject matter — the grandiose idea of romance ….
The Lowdown: Much like my mother before me who spent hours glued to Bravo's latest batch of Is-It-Really-Real Housewives, I've spent a fair chunk of 2019 teetering on the edge of my seat, impatiently waiting for Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes to just f*cking kiss already. Denizens of hesitation doused in white-hot sexual tension perfectly timed with a fresh album cycle, Cabello and Mendes turned up the heat this summer with "Señorita". A certified earworm, the track was accompanied by the steamiest tease of 2019: a toe-curling music video in which CaMendes never quite lock lips.
Y ou might say love is a smidge overdone as a pop trope, yet somehow evergreen. The second Camila Cabello album, Romance, is giddy and frisky, but not to the point of nausea - thanks, mostly, to the Cuban-American superstar's charisma and the way she pointedly mutters "anything else?" on Easy, one of a clutch of pre-album appetisers. Taylor Swift's Lover was faintly "meta", billed as being in love with love.