Camila Cabello: Romance review – giddy, frisky fun

Kitty Empire
Photograph: Lucas Barioulet/AFP/Getty Images

You might say love is a smidge overdone as a pop trope, yet somehow evergreen. The second Camila Cabello album, Romance, is giddy and frisky, but not to the point of nausea – thanks, mostly, to the Cuban-American superstar’s charisma and the way she pointedly mutters “anything else?” on Easy, one of a clutch of pre-album appetisers.

Taylor Swift’s Lover was faintly “meta”, billed as being in love with love. Romance, by contrast, finds Cabello swooning with less of a wink and a nod, singing her relationship with Shawn Mendes. “Shawmila” went official this year, yielding the inescapable Señorita, a Latin-inflected hit whose utter naffness is offset somewhat by all the IRL billing and cooing.

Liar, too, goes for the most obvious musical fashion: tropical pop, with Latin horns. But it credits the listener with a little more intelligence – as does Living Proof, with its off-beat handclap rhythms and ecstatic falsetto.

On the unreleased tracks, genuine surprises are few. But the campy prowl of My Oh My and the high-stakes breathiness of Bad Kind of Butterflies keep the balance tilted away from syrupy dross, in favour of fun.