Anne-Marie: Therapy review – feisty, empowering tracks land with a thud

English artist’s second album features collaborations Little Mix and Niall Horan

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Artist: Anne-Marie
Genre: Pop
Label: Atlantic Records

Dua Lipa may have conquered the pop world in 2020, but another young English artist has been nipping at her heels in recent years. You could argue that one of Anne-Marie’s greatest strengths has also been her downfall; her propensity and talent for collaborating with a wide range of artists over the years – from Rudimental to David Guetta to Clean Bandit – has perhaps been at the expense of her own solo success.

That hasn’t deterred her from inviting friends in for her second album, though. The follow-up to 2018’s Speak Your Mind features another clutch of comrades scattered through its tracklist, from Little Mix on the playful calypso pop of Kiss My (Uh Oh) to Niall Horan on moody ballad-with-a-beat Our Song and rapper KSI on the two-step influenced Don’t Play.

For the most part, the collaborations don’t detract from Anne-Marie’s message, which is one of empowerment (as heard on glib revenge track x2), self-acceptance (the terrific boom-snap of Who I Am) and vulnerability (the bare-boned honesty of the title track is startling in its candour).

There are a few duds in the mix, such as the schmaltzy Beautiful, written by Ed 
Sheeran and Max Martin, and heartache-addled Eurovision contender Better Not Together. Anne-Marie is at her strongest on the more feisty affairs, which allow her room to swing punches. Thankfully, the majority land with a thud rather than a glance here.

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. She writes about music and the arts for The Irish Times