Camila Cabello’s ‘Romance’ is an ode to the honeymoon phase.


Epic Records, Syco Records

The cover of Camila Cabello's romantic second studio album, ‘Romance’.

Mason Montano, Music Editor

Over the past two years, Cuban-American singer-songwriter and actress Camila Cabello has dominated the mainstream music scene. 

Following her appearance on the second season of American reality television series The X Factor in late 2012, she made her initial debut in July 2013 as a member of American girl group Fifth Harmony before leaving the group in December 2016 and releasing “Crying in the Club” as the lead single from her debut solo album, The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving., in May 2017.

The project was later retitled Camila when its direction was changed in response to the overwhelming success of the second single, “Havana” with American rapper and songwriter Young Thug, which replaced “Crying in the Club” as the album’s lead single and launched Cabello into mainstream stardom.

Camila was released in January 2018, and one year later, she confirmed that she had begun working on her second studio album, Romance, which arrived in early December.

As the title suggests, Romance is all about love and the feeling of being in love and was heavily inspired by Cabello’s past relationship with British author and life coach Matthew Hussey and her current relationship with Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes.

The fifth single, “Living Proof”, likens these feelings to being in heaven and creates a dreamy atmosphere with its smooth synths and strings; the fourth single, “Easy”, describes how the right person can make you see yourself in a new, more positive light, with all of your insecurities seeming to melt away when you’re in the arms of your lover; and “Used to This” is about finally allowing yourself to submit to love and become fully comfortable with your partner.

Romance also includes Cabello’s massive summer hit, “Señorita”, with Shawn Mendes — the musical embodiment of the couple’s love affair, as they passionately express their feelings for one another over the sultry plucking of an acoustic guitar, and the music video is nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece! It’s sexy and provocative, not to mention beautifully shot, and the plot unfolds like a mini-movie. We love a storyline.

Another notable song is the closing track, “First Man”, which sees Cabello singing directly to her father, Alejandro, as she attempts to ease his worry about her relationship. It’s a tearful dedication to him and a perfect way to end the album.

Unlike the rose-colored lens of the record, the Romance era is less than idealistic and has been plagued by controversy. Many have pointed out similarities between its sound and visuals to the work of other artists; mainly American singer-songwriter Halsey, Welsh singer-songwriter MARINA, and American singer-songwriter and musician Caroline Polachek; accusing Cabello of plagiarism. 

Personally, I think that she was just inspired by lots of different art and media during the making of this album, and maybe she didn’t do the best job at incorporating them all into something of her own, but I doubt that she intentionally copied anyone.

Regardless of its originality and creative elements, Romance is available now across all online and streaming platforms.

Stream Romance on Spotify: 

Watch the music video for “Señorita”: 

Cabello and Mendes in the music video for “Señorita”.

This article was originally published in December 2019 and later revised in May 2020.