Review: Camila Cabello Launches New Era with “Shameless” and “Liar”

Camila Cabello has had a killer run ever since she left Fifth Harmony to pursue solo career. While her debut single, “Crying in the Club,” failed to make much of an impact, she quickly bounced back with one of the decade’s biggest hits, “Havana” and a #1 album (Camila). Earlier this year, Camila guested on Mark Ronson’s sublime “Find U Again” and on Shawn Menes’ #1 smash, “Senñorita” (review here).

Album artwork for “Shameless” and “Liar” via stereogum.com

Camila’s two new solo singles have striking similarities to the first two singles from Camila. “Shameless” is a brooding pop/rock midtempo (akin to “Never Be The Same”) where Camila sings about being in love with no inhibitions or fear. The pre-chorus isn’t an excellent buildup, so when Camila finally wails the hook over Police-reminiscent guitar riffs, the impact is intense. “Shameless” only falters around the post-chorus; there, the song deviates into an unpleasant blend of reverb, trap, and rock that is not helped by Camila’s distinctly nasal tone.

“Liar,” on the other hand, is like a sibling of “Havana.” The brass-laden track blends notes of flamenco, reggae, and standard pop to create an uptempo track about denying feelings for a person who you actually love. The instrumental break on the outro is tailor-made for a killer dance break and it sounds damn good as well. The production is truly the star of “Liar,” while Camila’s vocals took the spotlight on “Shameless.” Thematically, “Liar” and “Shameless” are connected in the ways they deal with the nature of uncertainty around love. Both songs benefit from impeccable choruses that have very strong melodies, but lyrically their verses fall short of some of the more impressive moments on Camila like “All These Years.”

Neither track is as instant or memorable as “Havana” or “Never Be The Same,” but at the very least they do maintain interest for Camila’s sophomore record.

Shameless: 65

Liar: 70

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