Let’s face it, Camila Cabello was always the standout member of Fifth Harmony. Not only was this noted in their earliest X-Factor performances, but there was also a reason that she was given the lead in their biggest singles. It was just a matter of time before she stepped out to focus on her own career. After a few high profile collaborations, she’s finally making her solo debut with Crying in the Club. Unfortunately, it shows that she’s more of a Nicole Scerzinger than a Beyonce.
Crying in the Club tries to do many things, and fails at nearly all of them. It tries to be a club banger, but the mid-tempo groove never really takes off. Its spaced out beats and tropical sounds make it awkward to dance to. Sure, it has a certain bounce to it, but without any progression or build up, the sound gets stale too quickly.
It tries to showcase Camila’s vocal range. Unfortunately, her mix of low growls and high pitched wails are a jarring combination. The song’s demo was done by Sia, and this is very apparent in Camila’s vocal delivery. In the verses, she offers her best imitation of Sia’s alluring drawl, but it just doesn’t work for her. Her ghostly high notes in the chorus are supposed to be emotional and powerful, but ultimately come off sounding like someone singing into a tin can.
The song tries to be lyrically powerful, but the message gets lost in the poor production. Camila whines her way through lyrics about clubbing her way through a heartbreak. She sings about “tears turning to ecstasy” and “Letting the music lift you up,” but the message of optimism falls flat due to her choked back vocal delivery and a boring and repetitive beat.
Crying in the Club just seems like such a misstep. Lackluster in almost every regard, it almost plays like an unfinished demo. I don’t understand why this song was chosen over the far superior I Have Questions to be Camila’s lead single.
Final Score: D