Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

Camila Cabello – Don’t Go Yet

Worth sticking around for?


Andrew Karpan: One of the better arguments for Cabello I’ve heard yet! A humble party record, whose flamenco claves are both boisterous and suggestive of good times ahead. Paddle boarding with Shawn Mendes can’t possibly be this fun but when her voice cracks softly like the sound of rain on warm cement, buried under the mix’s elegant rumba, I believe she wants to believe it. 

Katherine St Asaph: Camila always redirected the spotlight or clashed distractingly (depending on your particular brand of stan goggles, or lack thereof) when she was singing with the Fifth Harmony group. The same thing happens when the group is canned.

Ian Mathers: Maybe my mom just listened to the Gipsy Kings (gosh, wish they’d stuck with Los Reyes) too much when I was a kid but the backing vocals here just sound fun to me, even though Cabello’s voice on its own ranges from neutral to slightly grating. The exuberance of the chorus and general atmosphere definitely works though.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: “What I really wanted to manifest is collective joy,” Camila recently said in an interview, “I don’t want to be alone on stage… I want it to be a kind of family affair.” Indeed, whereas most pop aims to placate the masses, “Don’t Go Yet” sounds immediately intimate, the type of track that could just as easily soundtrack a family gathering as well as a stadium tour. Camila’s insistence on being true to her Cuban and Latin pop roots, while also drawing from peers–from Gwen Stefani to Doja Cat–makes for the most compelling track she’s released in years. This sounds like nothing on the radio right now in the most refreshing way possible.

Nortey Dowuona: Look, I didn’t like the new Normani song at all, I thought it was lumpen, corny and wayyy too desperate to ape Aaliyah (and had a completely boring Cardi B verse). But that doesn’t mean I’m gonna let Camila Cabello gentrify salsa. I mean, all she had to do was not sing terribly and I would have given this a 7. But she decided to sing entirely in ENGLISH. And the lyrics were miiiiid. Can Normani start making her own music instead of just doing Aaliyah but with a bigger vocal range so we don’t have to put up with this keening disappointment any more? Camila can’t even dance!

Thomas Inskeep: I’m happy to hear Cabello leaning into her Cuban heritage on the salsa-drenched “Don’t Go Yet,” but boy oh boy, nothing can change the fact that she’s an awful singer.

Oliver Maier: Camila wisely leans into the fact that her voice is a little bit annoying, her raspy performance opening up a colourful mode that’s felt fleetingly present before but gone mostly unexplored (to my knowledge). Her downward-angled half-rapping on the second verse suggests a raucous, salsa-inflected “Hollaback Girl” redux. At once looser and much better-constructed than either of the dour lead singles from her previous albums and a great deal more fun than most of the stuff making flimsy Latin gestures in the Billboard-sphere.

Alfred Soto: In the first twenty seconds she rasps like a reveler deep in her cups yelling song requests. The chorus isn’t that much better articulated: she’s singing oye-oye, not “don’t go yet.” Someone’s having fun.

Reader average: [3.5] (4 votes)

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