Current Album Review: Four Pink Walls



Abby Turner

Alessia Cara, a 19- year-old R&B-pop artist, just released her first EP* (extended play) on Aug. 26 of this year.

Alessia Caracciolo, Cara for short, is originally from Brampton, Canada. Four years before Cara signed with a recording label, she made a singing cover video on YouTube. The cover was of Jessie J’s song Price Tag and reached over 18,000 views. She has since continued posting covers, music videos and anything else she can think up on her channel and has over 89,000 subscribers and counting.

After graduating high school, Alessia took a gap year and decided to focus on music rather than go to college. In that time, she uploaded videos on her YouTube channel and ended up gaining the attention of the record label Def Jam, who has signed artists like Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Iggy Azalea and Frank Ocean.

Since signing with Def Jam a year ago, she has released a five song EP entitled Four Pink Walls. The most popular track “Here” has over 39 million listens on Spotify.

Alessia is a complete breath of fresh air in the pop community, with honest and telling lyrics like Ed Sheeran, the coolness and R&B influence of Drake, and the soulful voice of a young Amy Winehouse, all of whom are her influences, according to her recording label. She has lyrics relatable to any teenager yet carries a voice far beyond her years, while still managing to sound absolutely effortless.

The EP starts off with the fun, but meaningful track “Seventeen.” Simulated handclaps and a classic pop sound is how the Four Pink Walls begins. The song is similar to the Taylor Swift song “Fifteen,” describing the difficulty of understanding all that’s thrown at one who is in their most vulnerable times-their teenage years. Cara reminisces about a time before she turned 17, when she thought that everything would be better once she reached that age.

With lyrics reading, “So hear me scream / I was too young to understand what it means / I couldn’t wait ’til I could be 17 / I thought he lied when he said take my time to breathe / Now I wish I could freeze the time at 17.” This is a relatable track to teens who feel they’ve grown up too fast even with warnings from their parents and realized that they’ve left the good old days but still desperately want time to stand still to make up for lost time.

The second song, “Here,” has rocketed Alessia to fame with over 500,000  streams in its very first week. This autobiographical song is by far the most popular on the EP and for good reason. The track is sympathetic to those who have more introverted tendencies, especially when it comes to parties.

“‘Here’ is a true story. It’s a party song, but really, it’s the complete opposite of a party song. It’s absolutely me; it shouts out the person in the corner of the party, looking around uncomfortably. I feel like this song narrates what the wallflower is thinking,” Alessia confessed to Def Jam.

Having a wallflower in the public eye is absolutely refreshing compared to the bubbly, extroverted teen pop queens we’re used to. The lyrics read, “I’m sorry if I seem uninterested / Oh I’m not listenin’, oh I’m indifferent / Truly I ain’t got no business here.” The unapologetic ironic ballad can relate to any brooder who gets dragged to a party with their friends, and would rather be at home than there. “Excuse me if I seem a little unimpressed with this / An antisocial pessimist / But usually I don’t mess with this”. Sharp piano notes and smooth electronic jazz sounds accompany Alessia’s flawlessly cool vocals

The third song is named “Outlaws,”  and is comparing a couple to criminals.The song doesn’t even relate to what Alessia’s personality is, especially the ironic one conveyed in ‘Here’. With lackluster lyrics like “And I would waste away without you” and “You’re the shine into my star” the song fails to represent the completely compatible Cara that you got to know in “Seventeen” and “Here.” This song isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s absolutely the worst of the five. The song is another boring pop track about young love and how exciting it can be. Reminiscent of a bubbly and slightly jazzy Meghan Trainor vocal, it plainly leaves Cara’s charisma in absence.

“I’m Yours” is the love song you would expect from Alessia, fully contrasting with “Outlaws.” The anthem is ironic, hilariously yet flirtatiously blaming a boy for ruining Cara’s loneliness and coming into her life. It reflects the same anti-sociability of “Here”- this time towards a boy. The catchy song sings,”Some nerve you have / To break up my lonely / And tell me you want me.”

“I’m Yours” is charming, funny, and really gives you a feel for Cara’s true disposition. It’s a fun track with a techno backbone, electronic bass, and pop guitar following Cara’s alluring vocals.

The final song, “Four Pink Walls” is a ballad explaining how grateful she is for the life she’s created for herself outside of the four pink walls of her childhood bedroom. Cara sings, “Then the universe aligned / With what I had in mind / Who knew there was a life / Behind those four pink walls?” The song can inspire someone who thinks that their dreams are too big and wild to ever become a reality.

Then, the song then takes a turn and ensues regret of leaving her pink bedroom, where she filmed her YouTube videos in, for fame. Her regret takes lyrical form when she says,”Went from ‘when boredom strikes’ to ‘Ms. Star on the Rise’ / It was all in an instant man / But those four pink walls, now I kinda miss them man.” Cara sounds skeptical that leaving behind those four pink walls may have entered her into walls that may end up holding her back.

Whether or not she misses those four pink walls, Alessia Cara is soaking up the limelight due to her recent success. Cara is making a name for herself in the music industry, so don’t wait up and give Four Pink Walls a listen.