November 7, 2019 Bishop Briggs – Champion (Album Review)
Over the last few years there has been an influx of talented, strong, female-centric singer-songwriters to breakthrough onto the music scene. From Lana Del Rey, who came on strong at the turn of the present decade, to Halsey, who has made a big impression in more recent years, it has been a time for ladies to rightfully shine.
Which leads us to enter Bishop Briggs into the conversation, a distinctive Alternative Pop artist with a whole lot to offer. Making a big move back in 2017 with her single “Wild Horses,” since then she has put out plenty of new, unique music, including her 2018 debut album, Church of Scars. Something that has been somewhat of a snowball effect for Briggs, she has quickly amassed nearly 2 billion global streams in just a few years. Not a feat to overlook, let us keep in mind that this young lady has done this very early in her career, so where does she go from here? The answer is up, way up, and she is ready to take you higher in a big way with her sophomore album, Champion, due out on Friday, November 8th via Island.
A quick follow-up to the impressive Church of Scars album, which found Briggs breaking into the top ten of both the Alternative and Rock charts, this time she offers 10 new songs that amass a listening experience that seems to fly by in the blink of an eye. Partially due to the fact that there is not a song on the album that surpasses three and a half minutes, the music comes at you rapidly, effectively and intensely. An album filled with empowering themes, from the anthemic single “Champion” to unapologetic “My Shine,” and religious experience-like “Lonely,” there is just so much to take in in the brief 28 minute running time.
This also includes the bluesy “Tattooed on my Heart,” irresistible and addictive “Jekyll & Hide,” along with the soulfully magical “Someone Else” where Briggs unleashes an impassioned, sincere vocal performance. Yet even still, the songs not mentioned in name here are equally as worthy of multiple listens as well. This is all in thanks to Briggs’ voice, which is so real you can feel it in your soul. In fact, her approach is so dynamic throughout the album, you can get glimpses of her Pop softness, Rock heaviness, as well something that is a mix between Gospel and R&B that really demands your attention.
In the end, Champion is a bold next step for Briggs as she continues to turn on the world with her music. The only negative you could possibly find with this album is that it leaves you wanting more because it is so good. An artist that transcends any pigeonholing as being merely Pop, fans of heartfelt, soulful music need to check out Bishop Briggs today. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Champion 4.5 out of 5 stars.