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Anne-Marie - Therapy (Album Review)

Wednesday, 28 July 2021 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Bella Howard

The streaming era may have its foot on the throat of artists and songwriters, but its reshaping of the landscape has also paradoxically been a boon for pop stars who favour a scattergun approach to album sequencing. Anne-Marie’s ‘Therapy’ is all over the place—stylistically uneven and retrograde—but it feels precision engineered for the times.

Sweeping its legs from beneath it at almost every turn, though, is a nagging lack of a melodic through line. Even when taken as a batch of songs rather than a cogent work, the hooks here simply aren’t sharp enough, leaving its grab bag construction some way short of a singles collection or calibrated playlist in terms of staying power. 

Plenty of star-wattage falls by the wayside, too. There is a stacked guestlist here—Little Mix, KSI, Rudimental, Niall Horan—but the knock on effect is to cloud Anne-Marie’s own character.

When ‘Therapy’ looks inward there are a couple of enlightening insights that are skilfully expressed, but the more measured title track and Breathing are asked to do a lot of heavy lifting. 

“Being low is just as easy as breathing,” Anne-Marie delicately admits on the latter, and it really lands. And yet the song immediately tumbles into the played out pop-house of Unloveable, which is tired from its thudding kick drum through to its grating horn flourishes. There should be a sort of whiplash here after such an abrupt shift in tone, but by this point there have been enough about-faces to render it almost unremarkable.

At 12 tracks and 30 odd minutes ‘Therapy’ doesn’t have the cynical veneer of a streaming-optimised cash-in, but its likely fate is dissection into increasingly inconsequential pieces. Any arguments it attempts to mount against that eventuality don’t hold much water.

Anne Marie Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat August 07 2021 - VIRTUAL EVENT Unknown Venue
Wed August 25 2021 - LANCASHIRE Lytham Hall
Sun August 29 2021 - SCARBOROUGH Open Air Theatre
Tue May 03 2022 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Fri May 06 2022 - GLASGOW SSE Hydro
Sat May 07 2022 - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena
Mon May 09 2022 - LEEDS first direct Arena
Wed May 11 2022 - LONDON SSE Arena Wembley

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