It’s been awhile since I’ve come across an album that was completely listenable from beginning to finish. Alessia Cara managed to break that streak with her full-length studio debut, Know-It-All.
The album opens with “Seventeen”, a song that I had previously discovered while listening to Beats 1 Radio. “Seventeen” is reminiscent of Cara’s younger, more innocent years, where she wishes she could go back to the teenage days and just slow down time.
The album itself is an emotional journey of growing up, falling in love, having a heart broken, and growing to love oneself.
Tracks like her breakout hit “Here” demonstrate how Cara, 19, has managed to grow up at a young age. On “Here”, Cara sings about how she has no interest in mingling and making small talk with strangers at a party, as she would rather be at home by herself or “somewhere with [her] people”. She seems to maintain a small circle of friends and appears to have no interest in large social events. On the deluxe version of the album, there is a stripped-down, piano version of “Here”, on which Cara shows of her beautiful, unedited vocals.
My favorite song on the album, “I’m Yours”, details the process of Cara reluctantly falling in love with a boy, despite knowing it is likely that it won’t end well.
The standard edition of the album closes with “Scars to Your Beautiful”, an anthem of autonomy and self-love. Cara sends a message to people struggling to accept their flaws and reminds them that they are all beautiful as they are.
Overall, the album has a 90’s vibe to it, reminiscent to the sounds of Lauryn Hill. The album is a feel-good record that I would recommend to anyone having a rough week, or anyone who’s just wanting to listen to some new, relatable music.
Sounds Like: Lauryn Hill, Joss Stone, and Macy Gray
Download Recommendations: “Here”, “Seventeen”, “I’m Yours”, “Outlaws”, “Scars to Your Beautiful” and “Here (2:00 a.m. Version)”