It might seem like she’s taking a page out of an old Taylor Swift playbook, but we assure you, Camila holds her own on her new album, giving fans a raw and honest look into the many emotions and feelings she’s experienced recently. In fact, Camila wrote the record in real time in effort to give her fans a truthful account about what’s been happening in her life.
After listening all the way through it’s easy to call Camila a hopeless romantic, but also safe to say she’s still relatively new to the real butterflies in your heart, knots in your stomach, deep, meaningful and real romantic experiences. And because of the journey she takes us on, we’ve helped decode her story and her songs... you know, in case you’re into that kind of thing.
This track is the perfect way to open the album: It’s strong and fierce while both the vocals and melody feel raw and intense. Her decision to release this track early on – alongside "Liar" – was no coincidence. Both songs are likely about the same person… we think boyfriend Shawn Mendes. In a way, it’s a push and pull with herself as she makes the decision to go from friends to, well, more than friends after perhaps struggling with what that could mean for their friendship. “So we're there, now it's real. Now that you have me, do you want me still?” she sings.
In the end, it’s clear the feelings are too much to push aside. “Right now, I'm shameless. Screamin' my lungs out for ya. Not afraid to face it, I need you more than I want to.”
This is Camila’s current single, and in true Romance theme, it captures those insanely intimate feelings and moments that come when you first start falling in love with someone. Going a step further than that, the song sounds romantic with her breathy notes and whimsical feel. She croons lyrics like “Countin' freckles, as they run down your spine. Show your demons, and I might show you mine. One at a time, yeah, yeah, what are you hidin'?” Whether it’s about Shawn or Matthew isn’t totally clear, but we don’t think that’s the point here. What she’s trying to express are how those first intimate and lovey-dovey feelings feel.
Should've Said It
The guitar intro here is what really sets the mood. The song is sassy and sincere, and while we don’t know this for sure, this is the first song on Romance that seemingly explains how her, well, romance, with Mendes started. It seems that the spark was first ignited a while back -- but that perhaps it wasn’t expressed until she had already started dating someone else. Yeah, it’s self-explanatory and we’re just gonna leave it at that.
My Oh My (feat. Da Baby)
We love that this is the song that leads into Camila’s mega-hit and grammy-nominated song with Mendes, “Senorita.” Why? Because it’s just as catchy and fun -- plus, we get a feature from Da Baby. The song is sultry and spirited as Cabello sings about wanting to experiment a bit with a “bad boy” type. “My mama doesn’t trust him, he's only here for one thing but, so am I. I swear on my life that I've been a good girl, tonight I don’t want to be her,“ she belts out. And, honestly, this is just #relatable because, hey, almost everyone falls for someone who might not be the best for them at least once, right?
We’ve all heard the song, we all know the song. Heck, it’s Spotify’s most streamed song of the year. We also know the song is what reunited “Shawmila” years after their first hit, “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Working on this song and video is also likely what made them both feel that chemistry we all saw in the video. Need we say more?
Again, we think this song is about the same person she wrote “Shameless” about. We seemingly get another glimpse into how Shawmila blossomed. Camila literally sings about how she wasn’t planning on getting too close or losing control but couldn’t stop her feelings. We think these lyrics sum it all up pretty perfectly: “I know I shouldn't stay; I picture your hands on me (I think I wanna let it happen). But what if you kiss me? And what if I like it?”
Bad Kind of Butterflies
Alright, here’s where the real turmoil comes to a head about what happened with Hussey and Mendes. The song feels angsty and dark, with almost haunting undertones -- and the lyrics follow suit. In fact, we’re taking her words at face value here; the “bad kind of butterflies” fill up your insides when you’re reeling over a massive life choice... and perhaps feeling guilty. We don’t mean to flat out say it, but we’re saying it: This song is likely inspired by a breakup conversation she had with Hussey after realizing her feelings for Mendes. “I know I said we were friends and when I said that I meant it. Somewhere between now and then it became more than just a friendship… What do I do when I love you and want somebody else?”
Like we said, this one is obvious. And while it feels painful and even a little harsh, we respect the honesty. This couldn’t have been an easy song to write nor put on the album.
This track might be Camila’s most vulnerable. Most people struggle to show their authentic selves at the beginning of a relationship in fear the other person won’t fully accept them. This song perfectly captures those struggles, but also that feeling when your partner not only accepts you but actually loves the quirks that make you you. These cute lyrics are some of our favorites on the album: “I never liked my crooked teeth, you tell me they're your favorite thing… You really, really know me. The future and the old me, all of the mazes and the madness in my mind… Always thought I was hard to love ‘til you made it seem so easy.” Whether it’s about Hussey or Mendes doesn’t matter; both guys seem to be real love for Camila and this song is more about herself at the beginning of both relationships.
Feel It Twice
We mentioned this track before, and that’s because the theme here is the same as in “Should've Said It.” It’s about someone saying they have feelings for her while she is with someone else. And *gasp* -- did she express her feelings for Mendes YEARS AGO? And did he turn her down then? She sings, "I wish you felt how you’re feeling two years ago." Regardless, the singer decided she could feel those feelings again, hence the title.
Dream of You
This song is dreamy and almost has an innocence to it. Feels like it could be about her first love, Hussey, mostly because there’s a reference to only writing about love up until this point. “I was not living, I was just writing about it with my head spinning.” There also seems to be a clue about an inside code they perhaps had for saying "I love you" in this part: “And you squeeze my hands two times, three times. And believe me I love you always, always.”
Cry For Me
Camila talked about this track when she released it earlier this year. It’s about no one in particular; she just wanted an angry breakup song for people to relate to when an ex moves on quicker than you do.
*GASP* Is this the first time Camila curses in a song? It is! While it’s unclear who this one is about (if anyone!), it seems to be about an on-again, off-again romance. “You know how to f--- me up, then make it OK. I guess that’s your just game, and I’m the one who gets played. Again, and again, and again, and again.”
Used to This
This song is 100% about Mendes and how she felt after their trip to San Francisco earlier this year. In fact, Camila calls out SF in the lyrics and basically confirmed this to ET. "I think that song is really special, because I just feel like I really painted the details of, like, when you're first dating someone that you've been friends with for a really long time," she continued. "It just feels like, 'Oh, my God, we're kissing now!' I think I just really captured what that moment felt like for me." And if that’s not enough for you, you should also know there’s a pic of Mendes’ hand tattoo in the lyric booklet -- NEXT TO THIS SONG. These lyrics are also pretty telling: “I’ve known you forever, now I know you better. Let’s just get carried away… It’s gonna take me a minute but I could get used to this.”
Cue the tears! This track is a tear-jerker. It’s about the first time you get into a serious relationship and how that affects the “First Man” in your life, your dad. The song is essentially an open letter or conversation with Camila’s father as she she sings lyrics like, “Yeah I just met his family, they're just like you and mom. He makes me really happy, I think he might be the one.” And this verse really hits the heartstrings: “I swear on my heart that he's a good man. I promise he loves me; he'd never hurt me. You held me so tight now someone else can, but you were the first man that really loved me.”
Camila’s album, Romance, is now available everywhere. And you can watch ET’s interview with her about it below: