ADRIAN THRILLS: Miami pop princess Camila Cabello digging into her Cuban roots

CaliforniaMILA CABELLO: Familia (Colombia)

Verdict: The Rhythm Will Get You

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JACK WHITE: Fear of the Dawn (Third Man)

Verdict: Jack to the essentials

Evaluation:

FATHER JOHN MISTY: Chloë and the Next 20th Century (Bella Union)

Verdict: the brilliance of the storytelling

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Any doubts about Camila Cabello’s place in the upper echelons of the pop world should be dispelled with her third solo album.

Cabello is still only 25, but she’s past her early years as an American X Factor graduate and a member of the all-female quintet Fifth Harmony.

His goal now is to cement his status as a credible album-selling artist, and Familia, while generic in places, is part of that. By restoring the charm and personality of her 2018 debut, Camila, it’s certainly a step up from 2019’s seemingly rushed Romance, a machine sequel that featured contributions from her ex-boyfriend Shawn Mendes, from brother Billie Eilish Finneas and a gallery of topdollar pop producers.

The Cuban-born, Miami-raised star is reaffirming herself by drawing even more intensely from her Latin heritage.

There are detours to salsa and contributions from Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez, who worked with Bruce Springsteen, and trumpeter Mike Cordone. Camila’s father, Alejandro, sings on La Buena Vida, a track that features two traditional Mexican instruments, the vihuela and the guitarron.

Camila Cabello at Global Citizen Live in New York in September 2021

Camila Cabello at Global Citizen Live in New York in September 2021

Camila Cabello's Familia cover (Columbia)

Camila Cabello’s Familia cover (Columbia)

Tracks of the week

PANA-VISION by THE SMILE

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood are joined by jazz drummer Tom Skinner on 2022’s fourth single Smile.

Yorke’s haunting falsetto is backed by offbeat piano and strings on a ballad that sees a welcome return to the spirit of early Radiohead.

SUGAR by MICHAEL WESTON KING

The lead track from Southport singer Michael Weston King’s first solo album in ten years is a bruised and tender affair.

Co-written with American melodist Peter Case, its smooth harmonies and slide guitar are reminiscent of John Prine’s folk-rock.

The album, The Struggle, was released on Cherry Red and features guest appearances from keyboardist Steve Nieve and trombonist Barnaby Dickinson.

With the success of Disney’s Encanto – the animated movie behind Britain’s biggest single of 2022, We Don’t Talk About Bruno with a Colombian flavor – it’s tempting to see Camila’s increased focus on Latin sounds as a choice. astute career.

Given that Familia took three years to form, its affinity clearly runs deeper than that.

After a languorous opening medley fueled by her soft, breathless voice, we went straight to two renowned duets.

The first, Psychofreak, is a flimsy R&B number about the fickle nature of fame that features Will Smith’s daughter, Willow.

The second, the acoustic Bam Bam, co-starred with Sheeran, and was sung at the Concert For Ukraine.

But it’s the other two duets on the album that are the most revealing. Sung with rising Argentinian pop sensation Maria Becerra, the lively Hasta Los Dientes adds vibrant disco beats.

The sweet Lola, performed with rapper Yotuel Romero, of the famous hip-hop group Orishas, ​​is a folk number from the favelas about the difficulties of professional life.

There are more generic pop twists in the hazy electronic ballads Quiet and Boys Don’t Cry, but those low points are compensated for by the vibrant flamenco flourishes of Don’t Go Yet, fueled by congas, timpani and pops of hands.

For an album that began in lockdown, when she began writing songs in her Miami bedroom with co-producer Scott Harris, Familia packs a reassuring punch.

◼ Stepped out of his comfort zone on 2018’s Boarding House Reach – an ambitious work that oscillated between funk, blues, rap and electronic pop – Jack White returns to the basics of loud rock and roll on Fear Of The Dawn, the first of two solos albums the former White Stripes frontman is releasing this year.

The second, the acoustic Entering Heaven Alive, will follow in July. As befits a man whose Seven Nation Army riff by the White Stripes was recently voted one of the best of all time, there are plenty of hypnotic guitar hooks.

Former White Stripes frontman Jack White is currently promoting Fear Of The Dawn (Third Man)

Former White Stripes frontman Jack White is currently promoting Fear Of The Dawn (Third Man)

Indeed, there are times when Fear Of The Dawn feels more like a rock guitar tutorial than a set of fully realized songs: some of these energetic jams come to a halt before a satisfying conclusion.

But the best times are exhilarating. Taking Me Back echoes the White Stripes, who played Mississippi blues with the energy of a punk band.

The title track, with White on a vintage electronic instrument, the theremin, is a progressive rock masterclass.

The vampire themes of the LP continue on Dusk. The Eosophobia (A Fear of Daylight) and That Was Then (This Is Now) dub feel half-formed.

The title track, featuring White (pictured) on a vintage electronic instrument, the theremin, is a progressive rock masterclass

The title track, featuring White (pictured) on a vintage electronic instrument, the theremin, is a progressive rock masterclass

But the top three songs capture White at his electrifying best. Hi-De-Ho, a collab with rapper Q-Tip that samples jazz great Cab Calloway’s The Hi-De-Ho Man, rekindles Boarding House Reach’s sass.

There’s another inventive snippet, featuring jazz band The Manhattan Transfer, on Into The Twilight.

White also serves as an enduring example of his prowess as a showman on Morning, Noon And Night, a fiery love song on which he makes the unusual decision to allow fellow guitarist, Nashville-based heavy rocker Duane Denison, to play. add your own solo.

Josh Tillman, pictured, adopted father John Misty's ironic alter ego in 2004

Josh Tillman, pictured, adopted father John Misty’s ironic alter ego in 2004

◼ Josh Tillman adopted father John Misty’s ironic alter ego in 2004 after he got tired of making what he called “sad b***** music.”

The former drummer (he played with Seattle band Fleet Foxes) has since produced a string of accomplished solo records.

The fifth, Chloë And The Next 20th Century, is her best yet. He still draws inspiration from the great storytellers of the 1970s – Nilsson, Jim Croce – but this effort is also swayed by the glamor of Old Hollywood and the jazzy tunes of the 30s and 40s.

Promotion for Chloë And The Next 20th Century (Bella Union) by father John Misty

Promotion for Chloë And The Next 20th Century (Bella Union) by father John Misty

The pianos shimmer and the strings swirl. The vocals are warm and rich. There is no shortage of highlights. Goodbye Mr. Blue is about a couple whose crumbling romance takes a turn after the death of a beloved Turkish Angora cat.

In 2017’s Pure Comedy, Tillman mocked him as “another white guy who takes himself so seriously.”

But it’s clearly lightened up and, on the closing track The Next 20th Century, salutes “the love songs and the great distance they have traveled”.

He has now added some of his own.

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