Alessia Cara – Know-It-All (Def Jam, 2015)
Raspy vocals, smooth runs, and a little bit of teenage angst yields Toronto-based artist Alessia Cara’s debut full-length album Know-It-All. The album includes her successful debut hit, “Here,” along with all the tracks from her EP Four Pink Walls. While the first half is backed with punchy kick beats and breathy harmonies, Cara leaves room for vulnerability and simplicity in the second half, namely in the piano ballad “Stars.” Melodically, many tracks adhere to a traditional pop formula but each track ties into the next to tell a story about rebellion, growing up and embracing your individuality. Her ability to play with sarcasm and cynicism when telling stories is what makes her words relatable as opposed to preachy. Her punchy, tell-it-like-it-is lyrics, along with her effortless vocal flow and raspy tone differentiate her from her R&B counterparts. If you’re looking for some mainstream attitude and spunk, Cara’s your girl.
Trial Track: “Wild Things”