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Pop - Released November 30, 2018 | Def Jam Recordings

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Pop - Released September 6, 2019 | Def Jam Recordings

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Pop - Released April 3, 2020 | EP Entertainment, LLC - Def Jam

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Pop - Released April 5, 2019 | Def Jam Recordings

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Pop - Released November 13, 2015 | EP Entertainment, LLC - Def Jam

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Pop - Released August 9, 2019 | Def Jam Recordings

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Pop - Released November 30, 2018 | Def Jam Recordings

The Pains of Growing was released three and a half years after Alessia Cara's first single began a liftoff that led to platinum certifications, multiple Juno awards, and a Grammy. As accolades piled up, Cara experienced a complete between-albums profile maximization cycle, highlighted by featured appearances on songs by Zedd and Logic and a well-synchronized Disney connection with the Lin-Manuel Miranda-written theme for Moana. Cara's second album catches her at a point where she's simultaneously an emergent singer/songwriter and a bankable collaborative pop star. The Pains of Growing embraces the duality for better and worse. Having co-written everything on first album Know-It-All, Cara wrote an even higher percentage of the material here, including a few songs on her own. She also produces one of the finer ones, the primarily acoustic "I Don't Want To," a bittersweet, conflicted ballad. Pop & Oak co-produced over half of the debut and contribute to several of this album's most appealing songs, from the faintly Jade-echoing "Growing Pains" -- in the relatable anthem vein of "Scars to Your Beautiful" -- to "Trust My Lonely," where Cara sails off with some sweetly miniaturized digi-dub. Apart from a romantically content soul throwback with No I.D., through which Cara displays the increased richness in her voice, the album's remainder employs assorted hit-angling producers connected by pop success with young women. The Pains of Growing is consequently more fragmented and less consistent than Know-It-All, but Cara makes the best of it, generally writing in a slightly wiser and sharper manner from the same introverted homebody perspective. Even the "isolated life on the road" number "Wherever I Live," the album's lone post-fame moment, sounds like it was written by the person who made "Four Pink Walls." © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Dance - Released April 15, 2016 | EP Entertainment, LLC - Def Jam

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Pop - Released October 21, 2016 | EP Entertainment, LLC - Def Jam

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Pop - Released November 13, 2015 | EP Entertainment, LLC - Def Jam

The teenage wallflower anthem "Here," Alessia Cara's debut for Def Jam, was released in May 2015 and sounded nothing like the hits -- such as the Weeknd's "Earned It," Omarion's "Post to Be," and Rihanna's "B**** Better Have My Money" -- that were at or around the top of Billboard's R&B chart. Even with instant recognition of the Isaac Hayes sample that drives it, "Here" sounded distinct, not only because its tracing of social anxieties was so palpable, but also because Cara sounded remarkably poised for her age. Three months later, the song appeared on Four Pink Walls, the debut EP from the Canadian singer and songwriter. None of the other four songs eclipsed that Top Ten R&B single, but each one of them was sturdy, fusing and switching between smart pop and R&B constructions as Cara sang about growing up and falling in love. The EP closed with the title track, a melodious and triumphant piece of hip-hop soul where Cara reflected on her early success, knowing she had it in her while in a state of dazed disbelief nonetheless. Four Pink Walls is repeated as the first half of the full-length Know-It-All. Its all-new second half begins with "Wild Things," a theme for a clique of mild-mannered misfits, and concludes with the tactful "Scars to Your Beautiful," addressed to girls and women with a negative self-image. Between those two numbers, Cara straightforwardly longs and seeks stability, and then uses substance abuse and amusement park metaphors for a bumpy relationship. At all times, Cara is levelheaded, wise beyond her late-teen years -- something that comes across through her observations -- and she has a measured delivery and faintly grainy voice to match. Discovered through YouTube, she was smartly set up with Andrew "Pop" Wansel and Warren "Oak" Felder, whose input here as producers and fellow songwriters complements what they've done beside the likes of Chrisette Michele, Alicia Keys, Tamia, and especially Elle Varner. Upcoming songwriter Coleridge Tillman (aka Sebastian Kole) also contributes. Going by the level of potential shown here, it's evident that Cara will eventually need a lot less creative assistance. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 13, 2015 | EP Entertainment, LLC - Def Jam

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Dance - Released May 13, 2016 | EP Entertainment, LLC - Def Jam

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Pop - Released October 5, 2018 | Def Jam Recordings

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Pop - Released September 6, 2019 | Def Jam Recordings

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Pop - Released June 15, 2018 | Def Jam Recordings

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Ambient/New Age - Released November 8, 2019 | EP Entertainment, LLC - Def Jam

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Film Soundtracks - Released April 14, 2017 | House of Iona - RCA Records

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Pop - Released July 11, 2018 | Def Jam Recordings

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Pop - Released August 31, 2018 | Def Jam Recordings

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Pop - Released November 13, 2018 | Def Jam Recordings