Camila Cabello | Camila
A incredibly strong and surprisingly confident first impression, Camila feels like a moment where, after her departure from Harmony and still relying on the same pop-factory to produce her work, she still generally hits the mark of a half-way decent pop record. Some of these songs would not be out of place on the records of other critically acclaimed contemporaries like Carley Rae Jepsen for Charli XCX. Where it falls short is it’s over-reliance on midtempo acoustic numbers and ballads that, even on the first track of the record “Never the Same,” kill any forward momentum that were generated from the Latin or R&B-tinged tracks. This whole record is really easy to digest and in being the first member to leave a pop-group Cabello has a head start on her former band mates in generating her own buzz and identity.
Shame Songs of Praise
If you don’t know about Shame yet – consider this fair warning: this could be the best new rock group out of UK in years. Louder and stronger than any other group at the moment, this London five-piece is scorching, intelligent and oftentimes hilarious. With Songs of Praise Eddie Green, Charlie Forbes, Josh Finerty, Sean Coyle-Smith and frontman Charlie Steen embolden their whip-smart and beyond-their-years songwriting into a seething post-punk masterwork that recalls almost every aspect of modern British rock into their own. The energy and confidence here excites even a casual listener – many great things lie ahead for this group.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club | Wrong Creatures
Deep and foreboding, but lacking a certain bite from previous records, the newest from BRMC is still very much rock’n’roll. There’s a few real and authentic acts left that truly love the fuzzed out bluesy psych rock and more and more are really changing the game of what that is (See: King Gizzard) and it seems like BRMC might get lost in the shuffle if they’re not careful. This record easily just lets it rip – bringing intensity, energy and unadulterated rock that we’re used to from the group – but there’s nothing of note. Just more of the same from a group that may have seen their peak and are slowly coming down the other side.