REVIEW: ALESSIA CARA, THE SOUNDTRACK TO THE END OF SUMMER

LIAM EASLEY, TRUMPET ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

The end of summer is sad for many, and this is highlighted on Alessia Cara’s new EP, “This Summer.”

Released on Sep. 6, 2019, the six-track record may be short, but is full of interesting motifs and unexpected experimentation. Modern pop goes, what Cara wrote for this EP is quite experimental.

“What’s on Your Mind?” features a clean, easy progression, yet is heavily layered with varying sounds and themes. The track shows Cara’s fluency in unpredictability, something that is not expected with mainstream music. The following track, “Like You,” is also experimental with sounds and motifs, but has a pop-like sense with a strong, electronic beat solidifying the song. “Rooting for You” attempts experimentation and is successful, except for the use of the saxophone, because it seemed robotic.

While the EP became dull between tracks three and six, it would have been more noticeable if she had made this mistake on a full-length. “This Summer” is an intricate EP that includes some songwriting choices that seemed out of place, but overall the record was decent.

Liam Easley, Trumpet Arts & Entertainment Editor

Outside of experimentation, Cara uses a mainstream approach to the other three tracks. “OKAY OKAY,” one of the more contemporary tracks, has a message that sounds more narcissistic than self-confident, and the beat is nothing beyond normal.

The EP finishes soft by ending with “October.” A melancholy track, Cara’s soft voice blends well with the suave, clean guitar. It’s a reflection on summer and the sadness of the onset of fall. It lyrically and atmospherically ends the album appropriately. The experimentation on a few tracks is welcome, but that makes the tracks unique, whereas the other tracks provide a contemporary break.

If the other tracks had more experimentation, it would become less memorable, as each track would have the same sound. With the first three tracks being the stronger of the six, it seems as if the EP is unbalanced. It would be more efficient to spread the better tracks throughout the release, but as this is a short album, it isn’t crippling.

While the EP became dull between tracks three and six, it would have been more noticeable if she had made this mistake on a full-length. “This Summer” is an intricate EP that includes some songwriting choices that seemed out of place, but overall the record was decent.

With a good balance of experimental, contemporary and catchy pop standards, this is a nice, brief way to end summer.

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