It may only be a few hours into Friday but the new Anne-Marie album is out and so the weekend starts right now!
Once again, a disclaimer before I begin. I am no music expert nor do I know anything about the technicality of it. I am simply a music listener and lover and all of what you’re about to read is completely my own personal opinion.
Anne-Marie, British singer/songwriter first began gaining popularity in 2016 with the release of her single, ‘Alarm’, which received huge radioplay across the country only spurred on more by her collaboration with Clean Bandit and Sean Paul on ‘Rockabye’. After the success of her first single, Anne-Marie continued to release ‘Ciao Adios’, ‘Heavy’ and most recently ‘2002’. ‘FRIENDS’ collaboration with Marshmallow also gained the singer her first top 5 hit featuring as main vocals.
With her raging success over the past year and a half, Anne-Marie’s debut album ‘Speak Your Mind’ has been highly anticipated until its final release date on 27th April 2018!
The standard album features 11 racks and the deluxe album has 17 tracks, taking the album to one hour long:
Track One – ‘Cry’:
The first thing that struck me with this track is the interesting choice of instruments heard straight from the second the song starts. I can only describe it as a sort of ‘carousel’ fairground sound and when I’d seen that Jennifer Decilveo had produced and co-written the track, who also worked on ‘Cry Baby’ with Melanie Martinez then I instantly understood the carousel feels I was picking up. I really think this is a great track to open up the album with. It’s perfect pop and Anne-Marie already shows her vocal flexs.
Track Two – ‘Ciao Adios’
I won’t talk too much about the tracks which have already been released as singles but Ciao Adios has been my favourite so far from Anne-Marie. I think I speak for most of the British public when I say I’ve sang along aggressively with ‘Ciao Adios, I’m done!’ eventhough directed at nobody!
Track Three – ‘Alarm’
Anne-Marie’s first single which I remember hearing and loving the electric, almost static sound to the verses. I think Anne-Marie sounds great in this song and it’s no surprise it was such a hit for her. A Banger!
Track Four – ‘Trigger’
The first thing I wrote down in my notepad about this track was ‘Tropicano’. I can definitely hear the tropical influence on this song from the get go. The build up to the drop is so pleasant amongst the mellow house influence and there’s a good chance this could be a future single, especially for summer. This song in particular reminded me alot of the kind of sound Camila Cabello has gone for since leaving Fifth Harmony and it’s more than working for her!
Track Five – ‘Then’
Ok, on first impressions this track is my favourite on the entire album. Anne-Marie shows a softer vocal yet still keeps a tropical vibe. The lyrics are a bit on the sad side but it’s not a complete ballad eventhough it easily could have been. I feel like this song is super easy to listen to and the slight slow down of tempo is needed after the first five tracks. This track to me is the highlight of the album.
Track Six – ‘Perfect’
If this track isn’t the fan favourite, I’ll eat my own shoes!
The message on this song is the defining factor of the track. The track is not musically outstanding but as it is lyrically strong, I can image the fans screaming the words back to Anne-Marie at her live shows. Especially the nod to LGBTQ+ with the lyric ‘I’ll love who I want to love, ’cause this love is gender free’. This song is probably close to Anne-Marie’s heart and so it should be. A great song with an even better message!
Track Seven – ‘FRIENDS’ ft. Marshmellow
Another single from the album and her most popular in the charts so far. This track fits Anne-Marie’s vocals to a T and I’m not shocked at all it’s done so well and will probably continue to do so. Catchy and dancy.
Track Eight – ‘Bad Girlfriend’
Don’t laugh….but when I first heard this song the only thing I could think of was The Sugar Plum Fairy. I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not but if it is then it’s absolutely genius juxtaposition of the lyrics and the sweetness of the beat. I think the broken vocals on the chorus are an interesting choice which I maybe wouldn’t have chosen for this particular song but I’m not a music producer so I can’t really comment. To be totally honest, when I saw that Nick Monson had worked on this track I thought I’d be obsessed because I’m a huge fan of his work with Gaga, but this time I’m not totally sold.
Track Nine – ‘Heavy’
Anne-Marie’s 3rd single from the album I believe (If I’m wrong please correct me). Although still using a tropicano beat which is extremely popular right now, Anne-Marie uses softer vocals and I the distinctive tones to her voice.
Track Ten – ‘2002’
The most recent single release from the album, 2002 is another easy listen to pop song which Anne-Marie is flawless at producing. Before I’d even gotten halfway through this track I could tell Ed Sheeran had written on it, it’s very Sheeran-esque. That man is a gold mine for pop smash hits. Can’t be forgetting Julia Michaels who also co-wrote the song and I think you can hear her backing vocals along with Sheeran in the chorus.
Track Eleven – ‘Can I Get You Number?’
The Reggae influence on this track hits you straight in the face as soon as the beat starts and it certifies the album as a summer must have! This song honestly makes me feel like I’m in Hawaii dancing with a pina colada in one hand and wearing a grass skirt. It also could easily be a Little Mix song but Anne-Marie does just as good a job!
Track Twelve – ‘Machine’
Another one of my favourite tracks on the album on first listen! More mellow house beats, this song brings interesting storytelling and talks about issues in society (‘If I was a machine, I wouldn’t be affected by violence on the television screen’). Anne-Marie’s vocals sound as sweet as a nut on this track and the robotic vocal touches at the end of the chorus tie in nicely to the title of the song.
Track Thirteen – ‘Breathing Fire’
Carrying on the mellow dancey vibe of the album onto the deluxe tracks, Breathing Fire is another one of my favourites and it makes me just a little bit upset that it missed out on making it to the standard album tracklist. The soft house influence on this track mixes so super nicely with Anne-Marie’s breathy vocals on the chorus which matches the title of the song. If any DJs get a hold of this track, which I’m sure they will, the remixes will be absolute FIRE!
Track Fourteen- ‘Some People’
By the fourteenth track, I’m desperate for a piano ballad. This isn’t it but it is the start of the softening of tempo on the album. The lyrics of this track really strike me as massively intimate and personal, like I almost shouldn’t be listening as if it’s a diary entry by Anne-Marie.
Track Fifteen – ‘Used to Love You’
Now we’ve hit the slower songs on the album, the lyrics are a lot more personal and Used to Love You presents the record as a tale of growing from heartbreak and learning self love once again and I’m all here for it. This is without a doubt a girl power anthem. But, who hurt you Anne-Marie, gal?
Track Sixteen – ‘Peak’
Stop the press! We have ourselves a piano ballad! Finally and it’s everything I hoped and wished for. Anne-Marie’s vocals are absolutely stunning, this girl has pipes! The lyrics on this song are heartbreaking, ‘I was in love, I thought you were too’, are stand out for me. I bet the fans will go crazy for this track and I once again wish it was in the standard album to show people exactly how emotionally raw Anne-Marie can get! Love, love, LOVE!
Track Seventeen – ‘Rockabye’ Clean Bandit (feat. Sean Paul + Anne-Marie)
Ok so do I need to even talk about this track because everyone and their mothers have heard this one. An absolute bop and pretty much all I listened to in 2016!
For such a highly anticipated debut album…this is really as good as it gets. Anne-Marie and her co-writers and producers smashed it out the park with this record and it was 100% worth the wait. From production to lyrics, this is another solid debut from a female artist from the UK!
Anne-Marie is going to have huge success from this album and all of her other projects with DJs and producers for a long time I’m sure. This album is perfect for summer and I’m super impressed with how much involvement Anne-Marie has had in every album of the production of this record, I bet she’s insanely proud!
Thanks for reading,