Anne-Marie ‘Therapy Album review EJ Scanlan
Anne-Marie. A British pop star who has taken the country by storm. Constantly making waves in the charts and a fan favourite, nothing is stopping her. From starting out collaborating and touring with Rudimental to taking to the stage solo, she’s unstoppable right now.
I’m going to be incredibly honest… I dislike Anne-Marie as an artist. So going into Anne-Marie’s sophomore album, “Therapy”, I was incredibly pessimistic, but with the news stating that she’d dropped another album that she’d plan to be released in 2019 in favour of “Therapy”, I became a little more hopeful that the album would be a little better, but we’ll see about that…
The album’s first track “x2”, has a pathetically produced chorus, however, the song’s verses are fantastic. Great lyrics with modern pop sound works incredibly well, it’s a shame the chorus doesn’t work as well. This is then followed by “Don’t Play”, a collaboration with KSI and Digital Farm Animals. This sounds like the sort of song that I shouldn’t like, but I can’t help myself from loving. It’s got a great pop sound, Anne-Marie is on top form here, as are KSI and Digital Farm Animals. It’s a great choice as a single and is up there with Anne-Marie’s best work to date.
“Kiss My (Uh Oh)” is next, and another collaboration on the cards. This time with Little Mix, and I love this. It’s pop perfection, catchy and incredibly provocative. This works incredibly well, and I love it. “Therapy”’s fourth track, “Who I Am” sounds incredibly cheesy, but it feels intentional to me, and the whole sound works well, with a great message for younger fans to stay true to themselves and only let people accept you for you.
“Only Song”, featuring One Direction’s Niall Horan, an artist whose solo material is very hit or miss is an innocent pop-ballad, it doesn’t commit any crimes here, but to me, it sounds incredibly bland. There’s nothing too special about it for me, it just exists as an innocent pop duet. The next song, however, “Way Too Long”, featuring Nathan Dawe and MoStack, is the complete opposite in the fact it makes an impression, only the sound of Dawe’s production, MoStack’s rapping and Anne-Marie’s brilliant vocals create a gorgeous summer sound in the dance-pop genre that’s very much overdone right now, making it sound unique and different. I’m a fan of this.
Halfway through the record now, and the next track is “Breathing”. Another pop ballad, this has a similar feel to “Only Song” two tracks previously. It works as an innocent pop ballad, but nothing more, nothing less, though I think that the production is on top form here. “Unloveable”, featuring Rudimental, who created my favourite album of 2013 in the form of “Home”, is up next. This song has great vocals, great lyrics, and great production. All the components are there, but there seems to be something missing from this track that would make it even better, and I believe that it’s a lack of atmosphere.
“Beautiful”, “Therapy”’s ninth track, is by far one of the records weakest tracks. Anne-Marie’s vocals feel incredibly irritating here, the song feels bland, nothing here seems to work. It serves best as what it is: an innocent deep-cut from a pop-record. “Tell Your Girlfriend” is up next, and this is a real mess. It’s a hundred ideas trying to fit into a 2-minute song, and the overall outcome of it is a messy underdeveloped track that should have been left on the cutting room floor.
The penultimate track from this record is “Better Not Together”, which is probably my favourite deep cut from “Therapy”. The production stands out and creates a gorgeous pop song with early-2010s EDM pop production mixed within it. Everything about this works. The final track is the album’s title track and it finishes the record in a mediocre fashion in a track that just exists, making me think why Anne-Marie made the decision to call this album “Therapy”.
Overall, “Therapy” is a Grammy-winning record when compared to her debut album, “Speak Your Mind”. She seems to have developed from the awful sound of that first record and made a record that does what a pop record is supposed to do. However, the album seems to fall from the same shortcomings track by track, the fact that hardly any of the songs here fail to lift off the ground and reach their full potential, making “Therapy” just another average pop record, but a one that is so much better than its predecessor. At least this record has made me feel a lot better about Anne-Marie as an artist, and so for a record to change my mind on something, I’ve got to give some credit too.
“Kiss My (Uh Oh)” (feat. Little Mix)
“Tell Your Girlfriend”
Other Bangers –
“Who I Am”
“Way Too Long” (feat. Nathan Dawe and MoStack)
“Better Not Together”
“Our Song” (feat. Niall Horan)