Alessia Cara fails to shine through with her new EP

Alessia Cara
This Summer

Def Jam Recordings · September 6, 2019


In contrast to the composition of her past records, Alessia Cara shows a lack of growth in lyrical and musical content on her latest EP, This Summer. The pop singer, who is now 23, is known for producing archetypal coming-of-age musical passages, wherein she passes down her newly acquired wisdom as she ends one chapter of her life and begins the next. However, such knowledge, or rather lack thereof, has no presence in this EP, which resulted in an overall disappointing experience.

In This Summer, Cara brings nothing new to the table. Listeners will find the same literal and deliberate lyrical style that defined her 2015 record Know-It-All and her 2018 release The Pains of Growing. However, the six tracks on this EP differ from her past releases, as her lyrics feel more like Cara is just speaking through a stream of consciousness – unfiltered to the point where there is a lack of imagery and artistry. By the end of the EP you feel slightly cheated, she simply told the same story as many artists have before her – when it comes to being into somebody else, miscommunication leads to complication, so just speak the hell up. But unfortunately, out of her three major releases, this one lacks grace, originality, and vivid emotional imagery.

For the most part, the record serves as a story line for how boring Cara’s summer went down, and if not her, then the narrative she developed. It all revolves around a guy, of course, and yet, Cara, though in a rather unoriginal manner, twists the story a bit so that the girl isn’t necessarily waiting around for him. In the second track, “What’s on Your Mind?” the artist expresses her frustration with her partner’s lack of ability to communicate his emotions. She sings, “I’m tired of cracking codes,” and therefore demonstrating that she isn’t going to keep waiting for him to say how he feels, but let him come to her when he figures it out for himself.

Though the other tracks on the EP consist of playful beats and are filled with Cara’s talented vocals, the closing record contained the most originality and artistry Alessia’s listeners are used to. The final track “October” stands out the most. The title gives the listener timing context, by which a few weeks have passed since summer, and Cara is preparing to move on from this summer’s events, and turn the present occurrences into memories she plans to reminisce on. As the most artistic song of the album, Cara goes into further detail, and turns the song into a tale of emotional maturement, describing how “every sunrise [heals her]” as she feels “the weight fall off [her] shoulders.” It’s a both warm and solemn closing to the record that is worth a listen.

Despite the undoubted amount of work Cara likely put into the EP, she may have been better off incorporating her newly released tracks into her next album. The EP didn’t prove strong enough to stand on its own, and could have been enhanced with enriched imagery, emotional depth, and a showing-off of Alessia’s undeniably powerful vocals that her listeners know she is capable of.

Listen to This Summer:

About Paige Stern 8 Articles
Paige Stern is a second-year journalism major from New York. She currently serves as WRBB's music assistant. Her typical day consists of jumping up and down at the sight of dogs, performing Queen covers in the shower, and crying over an episode of “This Is Us.”

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