When I was listening to Anne-Marie’s debut album, one of the things that came to mind was a quote from Coco Chanel. “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”.
This piece of advice is something that was sorely needed on ‘Speak Your Mind’ as the 17 track deluxe version is a very long and, at times, confusing listen.
I’ll start off with the bad stuff first here. Asides from a very long, long player, much of this album hits the same note.
Looking at the tracklisting it makes sense – all of her huge hits from ‘Ciao, Adios’ to ‘Alarm’ to ‘Rockabye’ to ‘Friends’ – feature here and as standalone songs, are huge bangers.
Mixed in with songs that mostly try to recreate the same feel leads to a fairly flat listen.
I appreciate that albums are not always the choice of format anymore, but if you’re going to release one, you need to make sure it’s balanced and worth the investment. On hit count alone, this album is worth the investment.
With a little bit of editing, her debut could have knocked it out of the park.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. On the plus side, aside from the string of hits we’ve already grown to love, there are some great new tunes to sink your teeth into.
In terms of the big banger of the album, ‘Bad Girlfriend’ is right up there. Listing off all the things she has done to be such a bad girlfriend, it’s hard not to see that she’s just stringing her man along for her own benefit. Nicely done Anne-Marie – love it.
One of my favourite songwriters makes an appearance on the bonus track ‘Used To Love You’, which is a great mid-tempo tune. Fraser T Smith (Ellie Goulding, Adele) always has lush arrangements that add so much to the song and as a deluxe track, this one is really enjoyable. It’s got a catchy chorus and almost feels a bit old school.
Closer on the standard version of the album ‘Machine’ is a really lyrically interesting song. Featuring songwriting credits from Teddy Geiger, it tackles the desire to disconnect from the hardships of real life. I think it’s a rather poignant tune and would have loved to hear more songs like this in lieu of some of the throwaway tunes included. It’d my choice for ballad of the album.
I love Anne-Marie. When I watched her perform on the Queen’s Birthday performance, I was shocked at how good vocally she was – even Kylie struggled live that night.
‘Speak Your Mind’ is a testament to how talented Anne-Marie is.
When given the right songs, she brings them to life in a beautiful yet honest and gritty way.
While there is too much content here on this long-awaited debut album, it’s a good start and highlights what is to come.
VERDICT : 3/5.
MUST LISTEN : Ciao Adios, Bad Girlfriend, Used To Love You.