Alessia Cara - 'The Pains Of Growing'

7/10

When Canadian songstress Alessia Cara released her brilliant debut album 'Know-It-All' back in 2015, she was greeted as the future of forward-thinking pop music, despite having such an anti-fame persona. The singer's incredible voice shone on a bed of soul-infused productions that led many to see her as the next big name in scene, even though she actively tried to avoid falling too far into the pit of self-indulgent excess that success would ultimately bring. But now three years later and no longer a teenager, the frontwoman seems more assured with her place in the pop landscape as she returns with the autobiographical 'The Pains Of Growing'.

As its title would suggest, this new release is all about her personal coming of age, both as a person in the limelight and a regular human being. Her characteristically down-to-earth persona and quaint storytelling approach makes this album far more identifiable than most, and also sees her experimenting with new ideas in the process. While her debut was a brass-filled and emotional charged release, calling back to the swooning soul days of the 1970s, this new collection sees her in more contemporary light, aiming to take cues from artists such as Sia and Tove Lo to create a release that moves with the times yet still maintains plenty of the original Cara.

It may not have that instant bite of her initial LP but 'The Pains Of Growing' sees her emerge from her insecure shell of self-doubt with far more maturity and confidence throughout. Filled with heartbreak, personal growth and acceptance of herself, this new release is her ode to moving onwards and upwards, and a powerful message it makes as well.

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