Camila Cabello’s latest singles, ‘Cry for Me’ and ‘Easy,’ put a new spin on romanticism

Two raw ballads that add vulnerability to Cabello’s soulful voice


By Joanna Buoniconti, Collegian Correspondent

After taking a break from the pop sensation musical group, Fifth Harmony, singer Camila Cabello has morphed into a superstar who is dropping new singles left and right after returning from a year and a half hiatus.

On Aug. 31, 2019, Cabello shared a series of videos on Instagram where she candidly discusses both the beauty and the difficulties of falling in love. The short clips were speculated to be hints alluding to the theme in her next album. While doing press for “Cry for Me”, one of her recent singles, Cabello confirmed that the title of her upcoming album would be ‘Romance’. Although, she hasn’t indicated when the album is going to be officially released, she has stated that she is going to be gradually releasing new music.

Cabello debuted her newest singles, “Cry for Me”, on October 3rd and, “Easy,” on October 11th.  The two songs are equally raw ballads and add a new layer of vulnerability to the pop star’s already soulful voice.

The day that “Cry for Me” was released, Cabello shared in a post on Twitter how this song is one of her favorites in the new album. Cabello explains that her inspiration for “Cry for Me” came from a previous song that she had written when she was 16 that described the bitter and jealous feelings she had after seeing a recent ex move on quickly from their relationship. “I wrote a song when I was 16 called ‘I’m pissed off you’re happy’, about a situation where someone and I broke up sooner than I expected, they moved on, they were having fun and happy and dating and I was just like…what the hell, that didn’t take long.”

Cabello’s suppressed emotions stand out in cover art for “Cry for Me”, which portrays the singer crying with the tears glistening down her face like diamonds. The song opens with a melancholic tone, laid on heavily by the guitar, where Cabello reminisces on a past lover and rasps, “Yeah, you look so happy walking down the street, don’t you, babe? / Did you forget, in this lifetime you said you could never get over me? / Are you over me?” Between the first verse and the pre-chorus, the beat alters drastically. It becomes faster as the drum kicks in, illustrating sonically that the sadness that had consumed her is no longer there when she sees her ex with someone new. “I hope you’re happy, didn’t mean it / Never thought you’d be so good at moving on.” Cabello explained jokingly in a tweet that her “Latin rage” emerges in this song.

“Easy”, the other recent release, is a stark contrast in theme to “Cry for Me.” While “Cry for Me” tonally is passionate and angry, “Easy” is adopts a more mellow tone while also maintaining Cabello’s passionate lyricism. “Easy” is rumored to be about pop superstar, Shawn Mendes. The two singers have been friends since they first collaborated in 2015 with “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” and when they joined musical forces again to create the sultry song of the summer, “Senorita,” the romance rumors reached a crescendo. Cabello and Mendes started dating in July, a mere three months before she released these new songs.

During a press interview for Capital FM, Cabello stated that her and Mendes are very happy together. The pop star’s happiness is tangible in the pre-chorus of “Easy”, with it being an allusion to her newfound romance with Mendes. “You really, really know me / The future and the old me / “All of the mazes and the madness in my mind.” Cabello and Mendes were friends prior to dating, thus, the sincerity in those lyrics establish a connection that is difficult to ignore.

Cabello performed both songs for the first time live on Saturday Night Live. She began her performance with “Cry for Me” and upon first viewing, theatrical would be the ideal word to describe her on stage. Cabello is familiar with theatrical performances; she often thrives on them in her music videos. Cabello performed “Cry for Me” in all of its raw emotion. Decked out in an ensemble reminiscent of the Victorian era, Cabello belts out “Cry for me, cry for me / Say you’d die for me / And if you can’t then baby, lie to me”, as she makes no effort to hide her disgust over her ex’s behavior.

For her second performance, Cabello adopted on a much minute and elegant approach to align with the song’s more peaceful tone. In essence, these two songs illustrate the complexities of romance and an indication to the emotions Cabello will discuss in her album.

Joanna Buoniconti can be reached at [email protected]