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Gracie Abrams - The Secret Of Us (Album Review)

Tuesday, 09 July 2024 Written by Emma Way

Photo: Abby Waisler

It rarely hurts to receive a co-sign from the biggest pop star on the planet, as Gracie Abrams recently discovered. ‘The Secret of Us’, her second album, features Us, a co-write and duet with Taylor Swift that the pair recently teamed up to perform together at the Wembley Stadium leg of the Eras Tour. But there’s more to Abrams than this glossy endorsement.

While it's tempting to attribute this album's success to the star power of Swift, Abrams’ follow up to last year’s ‘Good Riddance’ one ups her debut by tuning into the vibe of her 2021 EP ‘This Is What It Feels Like’, which featured vibrant pop singles The Bottom and Feels Like. 

'Good Riddance’ felt somewhat restrained by comparison, with no single track standing out amid a sea of haze and one-paced melancholy.

By way of contrast, ‘The Secret of Us’ finds Abrams and producer Aaron Dessner (of The National and post-’Folklore’ Swift LPs) embracing the live aspect of the music more fully. 

Tough Love features fast-paced verses and a soaring chorus that creates a dynamic contrast. Blowing Smoke, with its themes of post-breakup jealousy, evokes the softness of a Bon Iver or Phoebe Bridgers track. Gave You I Gave You I delivers some of the most gut-wrenching lyrics on the album, with Abrams poignantly questioning: “Was I just a placeholder to fill the hole inside you?”

Abrams’ distinctive vocal tone — hushed, ethereal softness — remains a hallmark of her style, matching her confessional lyricism perfectly, but she showcases more versatility and strength on this record. On tracks such as Let It Happen and I Love You I’m Sorry, a nod to her earlier single I Miss You, I’m Sorry, she belts her words with newfound strength and conviction. It’s something that was teased on her debut but not capitalised upon — no such issues this time around.

Gracie Abrams Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri July 12 2024 - LONDON Pryzm Kingston
Sat July 13 2024 - BRISTOL SWX
Sun July 14 2024 - SOUTHAMPTON 1865

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