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In The Meantime – Alessia Cara

Written by on October 25, 2021

Written By: Chris Rieger

Alessia Cara makes a solid return with her album ‘In The Meantime’.
Although I knew Cara and many of her songs before listening, I had yet to put a magnifying glass on any of her albums – and I am kicking myself for it! At a glance, I would not expect to enjoy her music very much, but ‘In The Meantime’ quickly changed my mind. Admittedly, I assumed I would enjoy the less commercial songs, but in this case, I felt like the hits and the deep cuts were evenly matched. Quite literally the least listened to on Spotify, ‘Slow Lie’, and the most listened to, ’Sweet Dreams’ were two of my absolute favorites. Even though ‘Sweet Dreams’ is clearly aimed to be commercial, it did not bore me in the slightest.

Cara managed to create a fully pop album forged with her unique sound, which is huge for me as a listener. This is certainly not another directionless, Walmart parking lot, shopping with your mom, bubblegum pop album. The substance of the lyrics and emotions really come across, even if the topics are not necessarily new ones. We get a few songs about quarantine, navigating independence after a relationship, and people changing, but none of which have phoned-in emotions, they feel authentic. The real and genuine content on here is what led me to enjoy this album as much as I did. Her versatile vocal abilities really shine on this record, but the groovy production is what ultimately sold me. I swear, every song has a beat that makes you bop your head, and a few of the instrumentals feel straight out of a James Bond soundtrack.

The old-school vinyl fizzles in many of the intros add to this cozy-mystery-movie-jazz-club vibe, and I am a total sucker for that sound. The song ’Shapeshifter’ is a perfect example. The drum production and guitar riffs remind me of a 60’s mystery film, akin to an older Lana Del Rey song while staying very uniquely Alessia. This mysterious progression coupled with a pop music voice wound up being an awesome combination. Even the more acoustic-led songs like ‘Bluebird’ kept me invested. The song ‘Bluebird’ caught me off guard with an acoustic riff that makes you want to start dancing, and a very different sounding Cara singing the intro. This one is another of my favorites, with its lo-fi instrumental largely responsible.

Overall, I found this album interesting and a very enjoyable listen, even if
you are not too much of a pop fan. I hope you get the chance to check out ‘In
The Meantime’ to decide for yourself!

Rating: 7.5/10
Favorite tracks: Somebody Else, Slow Lie, Sweet Dream, Bluebird, Shapeshifter