TODAY is the day Alessia Cara fans. Her eagerly anticipated debut album ‘Know It All’ is finally out and Quays News entertainment reporter Nathan Salt has been listening to it all week…
“She’ll just be another one of those American one hit pop wonders,” was one assessment of Cara recently. This debut record, however, proves that the industry does not have another Rebecca Black on their hands. In fact, the industry has a fresh teenager who is delivering her sound to the masses after kick-starting her career on YouTube.
That route is becoming far more conventional than traditionalists like to believe.
Naturally, when many are asked about Cara they will usually mention her biggest hit to date in ‘Here’ which peaked in the US charts at number five. It’s also had over 74 million plays on YouTube, which shows the scale and awareness of Cara beyond the initial niche American teen fanbase.
What this album beautifully showcases is that Cara can strip away the RnB vibe she delivers so well on ‘Here’ and just have a rather special ballad in both ‘Stars’ and ‘Stone’. The acoustic fragility she displays epitomises the struggles many adolescents face through education, relationships and more widely, the perils of life at that age.
The album encapsulates everything it means to be a teenager with Cara wishing in ‘Seventeen’ that she can stay young forever. The 19-year-old Canadian introvert has been billed as the ‘outsider of the pop world’ but it will be hard for those with significant influence to ignore this album.
‘Outlaws’ and the newest single ‘Wild Things’ echo the sound of fellow teen sensation Lorde although it would be unjust to diminish Cara’s individuality. Some will call this album a confession booth whilst others will say it’s a rebellion record that screams teenage writing.Whichever way you call it, credit to a teenager who has such a clear concept of her sound and appeal to put together a body of work with those two notions at the heart.
Every single song on Know-It-All is great! This album displays sO much talent & there's a song for every mood! @alessiacara, you're amazing?
— becca (@idcbecs) March 11, 2016
Cara’s debut is a strong one, albeit one with fewer risks than many other artists. Tracks such as ‘Scars To Your Beautiful’ and ‘Overdose’ are distinctly similar to other tracks on the album and whilst there is undoubtable appeal to her sound it isn’t a bulletproof body of work. It strikes as an album that isn’t trying too hard to be something it isn’t. She’s opened herself up throughout the tracks and that vulnerability is admirable.
Twitter was divided within an hour of the release but an album which doesn’t solely centre around love and broken relationships is much harder than anyone can imagine. A viral track helps immeasurably but with ‘Know It All’, the Canadian proves if you are good enough, you are old enough to make an assault on the established artists.
The singer-songwriter is proof that the anti-social person at a party can rise to the fore when in their element. If this doesn’t break the top 10 of the UK album charts I would be very, very surprised…
By Nathan Salt