ALBUM REVIEW: Anne Marie – Speak Your Mind
Anne Marie’s “Speak Your Mind” has become one of the years most anticipated debut albums and with her track record of chart topping hits and radio favourites that fact doesn’t really come by much of a surprise. The UK songstress delivers 17 tracks that showcase a combination of different personas including a playful and sassy side as well as a very emotional and reflective side too. She opens a lot on this record and truly shows that there is more to her than just big pop hooks that you can’t help but singalong to on the radio. The record opens with the sassy and empowering “Cry” that hears her offloading pure attitude to an ex who broke up with her but is trying to creep back into her life. It’s the perfect first taste of the record because it manages to embody all of those elements and serve some strong vocals and honest lyrics that will have you living. She then goes straight into the hits with “Ciao Adios” and “Alarm” giving you those big hooks that you can’t help but love. She then manages to back them up with the playful “Trigger” which delivers a tropical production intertwined with DIY beats that sound fresh and will have you instantly hooked. Along with the dancehall inspired “Can I Get Your Number” these two tracks are easily the strongest choices for future singles as they effortlessly deliver memorable hooks and different production that immediately stands out. “Then” and “Perfect” strip it back with a more simple production that highlights her storytelling and melodies while her Marshmello collaboration “Friends” turns up the volume and is the sassy dance track you need in your life at all times. Whilst she is a pop artist her production is quite grittier and more experimental than most of your pop faves but Anne-Marie reminds you on “2002” that she can also do pure pop with one of the albums most fun tracks. She incorporates names of songs by the likes of Nelly, Backstreet Boys, Jay-Z and Britney Spears to tell the story during the chorus and it’s super gimmicky and fun. “Oops I got 99 problems singing bye, bye, bye. Hold up, if you wanna go and take a ride with me better hit me, baby, one more time”. The song begins with a simple guitar strumming that introduces finger clicks and a classic 2002 inspired pop beat that I am LIVING for. Towards the back end of the album it does start to get a little long with some musical ideas being recycled and its a bit of a shame because she was shaping up to have an absolute home run. Songs like “Machine” and “Bad Girlfriend” are a little forgettable while “Breathing Fire” does eventually grow on you after a couple listens. “Some People” is a really nice intimate and stripped back moment which perfectly embodies the honesty that her songwriting captures.
“Speak Your Mind” is a strong debut record that successfully showcases different sides to her as an artist and delivers energetic moments that will make her live show very memorable. It is a bit long in length and could have been shortened to create a greater impact but with the amount of hits she has I will let it slide. She’s definitely cemented herself as one of the most exciting newcomers and will have you singing along from start to finish.