Being hotly tipped comes with a long list of pressures. It takes a strong personality, a cool head and a modest character to prevail victorious when caught in the never-ending whirlpool of public expectation. Alessia Cara makes it look so easy.
Earning herself a stream of high-profile admirers, including Drake, Taylor Swift, Lorde, JoJo and Alicia Keys, after her song ‘Here’ peaked at number one on the U.S. Shazam Chart - it has so far been streamed over 142 million times worldwide - the 19-year-old Canadian singer/songwriter now unveils her debut album Know-It-All.
Opening with the cute ‘Seventeen’, it explores the concept of going back in time following life missteps that could have been prevented had she listened to the advice of her mother. With an ever-changing instrumental that builds to a lightweight crescendo during the chorus, the track has the potential to become a serious stadium record sung by fans all over the world.
Not a metaphor like Kendrick Lamar’s ‘These Walls’, Alessia’s ‘Four Pink Walls’ revisits the bedroom where she conceived much of her new music. Laid back yet fun and funky in an All Saints ‘Never Ever’ or ‘Bootie Call’ kinda way, the Hip Hop inspired drum kicks that play underneath the calming synths and occasional horns lay a solid foundation for Alessia to reminisce about her days before the fame.
Full of heartfelt moments and honest observations about her own life, ‘Stone’ stands out as a record listeners can relate to with ease. Asking them to read between the lines, Alessia plays the role of a duck; everything seems calm on the surface but under that water she’s paddling a mile a minute struggling with pain, anxiety and everything else in-between.
Not going too deep down into the rabbit hole of love, and the complications that come with love, ‘I’m Yours’ and ‘Overdose’ are two of the most notable moments where matters of the heart are explored at length. Where Know-It-All really shines is when it looks at things like anti-social behaviour (‘Here’) and self-acceptance (‘Wild Things’).
Recorded prior to her signing to Def Jam/Virgin EMI Records, Know-It-All is compiled of 10 tracks that best showcase the dainty new pop star’s puckish temperament. Whether you’re a fan of bubblegum pop or progressive soul music you’ll find yourself engaged throughout.
Alessia Cara has come a long way from being someone just recording versions of her favourite songs and posting them to YouTube. Like Justin Bieber before her, she has the potential to be a global phenomenon, and Know-It-All is just the beginning.