Track Review | Camila Cabello, ‘Crying in the Club’
Ex Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello releases her debut solo single, “Crying in the Club.” While respectable, the single ultimately underwhelms.
Her time has finally come. Camila Cabello drops her debut single, “Crying in the Club.” After exiting Fifth Harmony, and scoring hits with Shawn Mendes (“I Know What You Did Last Summer”) and Machine Gun Kelly (“Bad Things”), Cabello is stepping into the spotlight. Does she get it done on “Crying in the Club?” Well…
Cabello enters into the solo artist game with high expectations. So, “Crying in the Club” is somewhat disappointing. Why is the single disappointing? It sounds like many other, contemporary pop radio hits. While conformity in pop music is important, sometimes it hurts a newbie’s chances of solidifying their own artistry. That’s the big rub with “Crying in the Club,” which comes off much more generic and less authentic than it should from a capable, new voice.
Vocally, Cabello sounds good, but not elite per se. The first verse, in particular, is off-putting, as she resides in her lower register. One she ascends, she sounds much more comfortable and natural. Given the fact that this song is co-written by Sia, it sounds more in Sia’s wheelhouse, at least in the lower register. Another rub with the vocal performance is that Cabello doesn’t allow herself to be freer. Towards the end, she musters up respectable ad libs, but there’s this sense that she can give more.
Thematically, “Crying in the Club” tackles familiar territory:
“So put your arms around me tonight / Let the music lift you up / Like you’ve never been so high / Open up your heart to me…”
Essentially, Cabello treats the club as therapeutic. Okay, logical – nobody knocks the fun and possibilities of fun in a club. It works, but it’s definitely an oversimplification. Yes, Cabello is young and free, but still, we’ve heard about the club more than enough times. Lyrically, it isn’t poetic – it simply “is what it is.” To her credit (and the songwriting team), pop music lyrics don’t equate to Walt Whitman. Still, this is a bit underwhelming.
The production work for “Crying in the Club” is respectable but indistinct. Been there, done that. That’s sort of the final evaluation for the song as a whole. Most will still believe in Camila Cabello after listening to “Crying in the Club,” but ultimately, as a debut single, it’s average at best. It isn’t bad, but it also doesn’t ascend to the next level. Cabello needs to step up her game for single no. 2.