We all have friends who, when they fall in love, turn into Shakespeare-quoting, starry-eyed Pepé Le Pews. That’s all good, but not many can convey emotion with a flawless soprano like Camila Cabello. Romance, her second album, feels like a transitional moment for the Cuban American singer. Most notably, her adorable relationship with pop superstar Shawn Mendes provided much of this album’s inspiration. Next, she steps away from the Latin vibes that carried her earlier hits like “Havana” and “Señorita” to explore pop more broadly. She plunges down moody Ariana/Weeknd-type wormholes on “Should’ve Said It,” “Feel It Twice,” “Used to This,” and “Easy.” The latter shares feelings that are pure catnip for hopeless romantics: “Always thought I was hard to love till you made it seem so easy,” she confesses.
Similarly, “Dream of You” and “Living Proof” are like intercepted handmade crush notes—complete with swirly lettering—between lovers. She briefly reconnects with her Latin roots (“Liar,” and “Señorita,” which makes an encore here) and mingles with vintage rock ’n’ roll (“This Love”). But the track that will gain the most attention, and compete for father-daughter dance rotation at every wedding henceforth, is “First Man”—a beautiful message to the most important male figure in her life, not named Shawn, about finding a person who will care for her as much as he did.