Actually, Camila’s best song this year is “Find U Again,” her collaboration with Mark Ronson for his Late Night Feelings album. In terms of solo songs, “Cry For Me” and “Easy” are far and away her strongest offerings yet from Romance. A couple of weeks ago, Camila debuted “Shameless” and “Liar.” While neither song was particularly bad, the former didn’t quite click the way it should have, and the latter was a fun (if not, slightly predictable) rehash of “Havana.”
Last week (Oct. 4), Camila released “Cry For Me” a vindictive and melancholic uptempo number that is steeped in disco and R&B influences. The sound is different for Camila, but the end project is gorgeous. She slides across the song with a gentle ease, and when the drums kick in she really starts performing vocally. “Cry For Me” doesn’t hinge on impressive vocal moments, as much as it relies on Camila selling the story of the song. The way she loosens the enunciation of the end of each line during the chorus and the almost manic ad-libs on the bridge are absolutely perfect. In all honesty, this may be one of Camila’s best songs. She blends rock, pop, soul, and dance, on this track and it feels unique to her.
Today (Oct. 11), Camila debuted “Easy.” This is the first ballad we’ve heard from Romance so far, and she delivers. Thus far, some of the strongest moments of Camila’s solo musical career have been her ballads: “Never Be The Same,” “I Have Questions,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “All These Years,” etc. “Easy,” in a way, is the counterpart to “Cry For Me.” While Camila wants her ex-lover to feel as hurt as she does on “Cry For Me,” she croons about all the ways her lover makes her feel special and loved on “Easy.” This record is more lyrically driven than the previous releases from Romance. Camila sings of the “stretch marks all around [her] thighs” and the “mazes and madness in [her] mind” that her lover knows and has taught her to love. Musically, the ballad draws some inspiration from doo-wop and the languid delivery of 2010s indie pop. “Easy” is almost anthemic, but the production pulls back just enough that it remains intimate and personal.
Why Camila and her team went with “Shameless” and “Liar” to introduce the Romance era is beyond me. “Easy” and “Cry For Me,” are better songs and they don’t really sound like anything on the radio right now. At the very least, these two new songs should regain any hype that was squandered by the previous singles.
Scores: “Cry For Me” (82); “Easy” (79)