Album Review: Sigrid – Sucker Punch

sigrid don't feel like crying

Sigrid does what was expected on satisfying debut record
Norwegian pop singer and songwriter Sigrid conquered the music industry bit by bit in the past few years. She first rose to fame in her homy country when her excellent singles ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ and ‘Plot Twist’ became hits. It was not until the start of 2018 that the insanely catchy pop tune ‘Strangers’ meant her breakthrough in the UK and other European countries. With two EPs and an endless list of singles to her name, Sigrid and her team finally decided it was time for her debut album. The record is titled Sucker Punch and it delivers exactly what one would expect from this Norwegian pop starlet.

As Sigrid has been releasing material for two years now, she had no choice but to include some of her previous material to make the album her proper debut. She took first successful single ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’, international hit ‘Strangers’ and of course the tracks she dropped to promote the then upcoming record; the punchy and irresistible ‘Sucker Punch’ and light synth pop anthem ‘Don’t Feel Like Crying’. Although these four singles are all stand outs, Sigrid has some more tunes to offer.

Of course Sigrid must realize by now that her fans love the bops with attitude she has been serving from the get go and so she has a couple more of those waiting for us. ‘Mine Right Now’ is a smooth electro pop banger that could have been a successful Carly Rae Jepsen single. ‘Basic’ shows off her ‘cute’ side with an infectious chorus in which she asks a lover if she can be ‘basic’ with them. Halfway through, for the middle-eight, the song switches back to an acoustic recording for a few seconds, which is a nice touch. ‘Sight Of You’ is easily one of the strongest productions on the album with a quirky use of strings and other sound effects. It makes the chorus even more memorable. On ‘Business Dinners’ she seems to give us a little taste of what her life in the music industry is like. She tries to stay true to herself while others want her to be ‘sweeter, better, angel’ and see her as ‘pictures, numbers, figures’. The lyrics to melody in the chorus are reminiscent of Daft Punk’s classic ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’.

Those who think that Sigrid is a one-trick-pony who only masters the art of the synth bop, are mistaken. With ‘Level Up’ she delivers a more stripped back type of tune that is produced in a vintage way which almost makes it sound like it could have been part of a 50s Hollywood movie. Album closer ‘Dynamite’ teaches us that she can just as easily captivate us with an emotive piano ballad. The best of the ‘non-bops’ however, has to be ‘In Vain’. Her vocals sound more raw than we have heard from her while the song builds up from acoustic guitars to a flawless beat drop that does not sound even slightly out of place. The progression in the track is insane and it shows Sigrid’s growth as an artist.

Sigrid worked with a handful of writers and producers for this record, but did most of the work with Martin Sjølie, with whom she collaborated from the start of her career. Sigrid delivers a debut album that completely fits her as an artist. It is cohesive and exactly what one would expect from her, but at the same time she managed to add more depth and personality. An excellent debut!

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