Alessia Cara 'In The Meantime' Album Review by Katie Tymochenko for Northern Transmissions

Def Jam Recordings/Universal Music

7.5

Alessia Cara

In The Meantime

For the past six years, Alessia Cara has become synonymous with her coming of age songs that have captured the hearts of young fans around the world. She’s never been afraid to express her emotions on a deeper level but for the most part kept stories about her love life private, until now.

On her third studio album In The Meantime, Alessia Cara takes fans on an all too familiar journey about falling in (then out) of love. Keeping on trend with relatability, Cara explores the highs and lows of a complicated relationship while simultaneously focusing on her mental health and well-being.

Despite the album having a melancholic narrative, it’s the upbeat and carefree sonic qualities throughout each song that keep the vibes high and negativity low. Embracing her love of bossa nova music and Brazilian culture, “Find My Boy” and “Bluebird” both set the scene for a good time in Rio, exploring Ipanema with a cocktail in hand. The party keeps going on “Middle Ground” featuring CHIKA, where Cara’s mixed feelings about a relationship can’t stop her from finding a good groove.

Things sober up quickly on “Best Days” when Cara wonders if her glory years are behind her. While lyrically it might be dismal, the song’s production techniques are captivating and unexpected. More production surprises appear throughout the album giving In The Meantime somewhat of a cinematic feel. The album’s forty second opener “Unboxing Intro” is chaotic and confusing but segues nicely into “Box In The Ocean.”

Instrumentally speaking, she continues to explore the relationship between the acoustic guitar and pop music. Being a guitar player herself, songs like “Slow Lie” show her two worlds coming together by the power of studio magic. Throughout the album fans can expect classic Alessia Cara harmonies combined with more mature melodies and arrangements.

Fittingly enough, it seems like Cara left her growing pains back on album two. This time, the lyrical content and composition of her songs seem more confident and self-aware, despite going through a tough time while putting this album together. She really takes her time over 18 tracks to tell a story about love, heartbreak and eventual growth. This album isn’t for the less curious but for fans of Alessia Cara, her third musical instalment brings them closer than ever before.