April 27, 2018 Anne-Marie – Speak Your Mind (Album Review)
British Pop sensation Anne-Marie is set to make her sterling debut on Friday, April 27, 2018, with Speak Your Mind, thanks to Warner Bros. Records.
Essex born Singer-Songwriter Anne-Marie is a sassy little minx who was performing in theatrical productions by the age of six. By 2013, she was guesting on tracks by the likes of Magnetic Man, Gorgon City, Raized By Wolves, and Rudimental. By 2016, she was collaborating with such artists as Clean Bandit and Sean Paul, Snakehips as well as Joey Badass. Fast forward to 2018 and Anne-Marie’s latest single, “Friends,” is in the Top 10 on Spotify’s global chart, and is the highest-debuted track, globally, for a British female in 2018.
With 5 Brit Award nominations, 5-billion streams and 12-million global singles sold, Anne-Marie’s career is traveling at a meteoric pace. It does not hurt to have friends in high places, and supporting long-time pal Ed Sheeran on his ÷ Tour did not hurt her cause. Coupled with appearances at an array of festivals last summer, along with a slot opening for Justin Bieber at London’s British Summer Time Festivals, well, it does not suck to be Anne-Marie right now.
Thus, the time is perfectly ripe for Speak Your Mind, Anne-Marie’s 12-song debut. The collection sees her collaborating with an all-star cast of producers, including Steve Mac (Ed Sheeran), Nana Rogues (Drake), TMS (Emeli Sandé), Tom Meredith (One Direction) and of course, Marshmello. She also co-writes tracks with the likes of Emily Warren (Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes), Ina Wroldsen (Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne), Jennifer Decilveo (Andra Day), and the aforementioned Ed Sheeran.
Speak Your Mind begins with an initially flowing, swirling ethereal essence that moves into the massive layers of “Cry,” where Anne-Marie’s sassy, soaring vocals warn that she is one truly irreplaceable gal and if you don’t shape-up, you are going to be sleeping and sobbing all by your lonesome. Next, a steady, danceable beat holds down the fort of “Ciao Adios,” a feisty promise that Anne-Marie’s got your number, you dirty cheater! The infectious quality of the track makes it the perfect dance number for clubs and something you should expect to score summer 2018.
There is a Hip Hop sway embedded in the layers and beats of “Alarm” that leads flawlessly into “Trigger,” where trying to fix a mess with understanding anchors the core of this socio-political commentary. Urging an open dialogue over violence, the track creates a truly catchy commentary that is beautifully poignant in our aggravated modern world. Despite this proof that Anne-Marie is a keen gal, she does not linger and instead moves toward territory of the heart: “I loved you but that was then,” she confesses in the beautifully emotional “Then,” a pseudo-ballad full of electronic tinkering and the raw passion of a woman scorned.
Okay, so maybe Miss Anne-Marie is not “Perfect,” but in this soulful little jazz she muses about all the things that remind her why being imperfect makes us, well, perfect. Oh yeah, and her sister is in love with Eminem! Meanwhile, there is a scrumptious Salsa-flavor to the guitar-work behind the friend-zoning anthem, “Friends” – which features Marshmello – a sassy little kiss-off to someone who wants to be more than F-R-I-E-N-D-S. The promise? You will shake your H-I-P-S.
Pseudo-Rapper “Bad Girlfriend” sees the darker side of Anne-Marie, confessing that she is maybe not the very best significant other, and guess what? She’s laughing at you, not with you! These giggles bring her to the gentle island beats of “Heavy,” which anchor a confession that this relationship is getting a little too intense in all the wrong ways.
A backward reminiscence, the sing-along bop of “2002” – co-written with friend Ed Sheeran – sees Ann-Marie remembering a youthful romance, dancing on cars, and rocking her 99 problems away in the sunshine. The sensual Reggae-dusted beats of “Can I Get Your Number” see our feisty vocalist searching for love in the club, before she can ponder what would life be like if we were each a “Machine?” In this funky little sway, Anne-Marie closes out her debut collection by pondering the pros and cons of not having a heart and being unfazed by worry and regret.
Anne-Marie is Jessie J meets Rihanna, with the storytelling prowess of pal Sheeran, a sassy songstress who weaves entirely candid confessions set to delicious, dance-able beats that work their way onto your hips and into your heart. Fortunately, while Pop music can often be a rather brainless affair, Anne-Marie is perfectly socially-aware and she offers up commentary on our violent world and decidedly lacking self-esteem, promising that, sure, Pop should be fun, but it can be whip-smart too. Oh yeah, and the girl can sing!
On Speak Your Mind, Anne-Marie bends genres fluidly, weaving a diverse collection that shows her skills in every style she sets her superb vocals toward. The end result is fun, flirty, and a perfect soundtrack to the summer of 2018! For these reasons, CrypticRock give Anne-Marie’s Speak Your Mind 4.5 of 5 stars.