It’s been three years since she last blessed our ears with a new album, and now the wait is finally over! Anne-Marie released Therapy on Jul 23, a highly-anticipated follow-up to her 2018 debut album Speak Your Mind.
Listening to the record, at times it’s hard to believe you’re listening to the musings of a global pop star. One of the many things fans adore about Anne-Marie is that she’s just… well, ‘normal’. Whether she’s singing about getting crazy revenge on an ex, learning to be comfortable in her own skin or worrying that she’s unlovable, one thing’s for sure – she’s relatable.
Her charismatic personality shines throughout, as we unpick the album track-by-track.
The opening track is what I like to think of as a classic Anne-Marie anthem: singing directly to the person who’s hurt you with more than a hint of sass in your tone. Leaning towards hip-hop, she fantasizes about getting “a nice bit of old school juicy payback” as she vows to get revenge. How? By doing back to them everything they did to her, but worse.
2. Don’t Play with KSI & Digital Farm Animals
‘Don’t Play’ technically serves as the album’s lead single, although we didn’t know it back at the time of release. The garage track is a collab with KSI & Digital Farm Animals and was an instant hit, almost reaching the top spot of the Official UK Charts by entering straight at #2.
3. Kiss My (Uh Oh) with Little Mix
Anne Marie’s latest single was originally a solo, but we’re so glad she invited everyone’s fave girl group on board because Little Mix are perfect for it. They’ve formed a close friendship, which is clear to see in the Bridesmaids-inspired music video that sees them go out on a wild hen do.
The song itself, in Anne-Marie’s own words, is about “realising that someone isn’t treating you right and plucking up the courage to walk away.”
4. Who I Am
In this track, Anne-Marie is officially done with valuing other people’s opinions of her. “You can love me or hate me, nothing’s gonna change me / ‘Cause that’s just who I am, if you don’t like it I don’t give a damn.” It’s a defiant anthem that sends a positive message for everyone listening to know their own self-worth.
5. Our Song with Niall Horan
Anne-Marie and Niall Horan surprised fans earlier this year by dropping the duet we never knew we needed until now. The cute guitar-led pop song was released alongside an incredible music video that saw the pair go on the run from the police in a vintage car. Fans have been obsessed with the partners in crime ever since and helped the song reach Number 1 on the Official Big Top 40.
6. Way Too Long with Nathan Dawe & MoStack
‘Way Too Long’ perfectly summed up everyone’s feelings about the pandemic when it was released as the album’s second single in April. The title is just a coincidence, as the electronic track is actually about reminiscing on a lost love, but I can imagine it being a vibe on the club dance floor.
Anne-Marie’s first-ever love song acts as a breather midway through the album (no pun intended). Her vocals are pure magic in the understated track, reminding us that she’s a multifaceted performer and songwriter who can create a cohesive body of work, not just standalone radio hits.
8. Unlovable (feat. Rudimental)
Yes, even global pop stars have moments of crippling self-doubt and loneliness. Anne-Marie has always been open about her mental health, especially her struggles with anxiety, and it’s refreshing to see her continue to be vulnerable through her music. “Could anybody love me at all?” is a question that so many of us have thought, but few would be brave enough to share it with the entire world in a song. With Rudimental’s spin on the track, it’s one of my favourite subgenres of music – the ‘sad bop’.
Co-written by her pal Ed Sheeran, ‘Beautiful’ sees Anne-Marie embrace her imperfections before singing directly to the listener. “Darling when they put you down like that, you can reply right back / You are beautiful.” It’s essentially ‘Perfect to Me’ 2.0, written after Anne-Marie was blown away by the reaction to the inspiring song on her first album.
10. Tell Your Girlfriend
We’re back to the cheeky Anne-Marie that we know and love with this emboldened track that sees her threaten to expose a love rat’s antics by going straight to his girlfriend. “I hate cheaters and I want to find every one of them and tell the person they’re cheating on what they’re doing. I basically want to be a private detective on the side of music. Beware of me!” Ouch.
11. Better Not Together
There’s not much to say about this track, mainly because it’s exactly what it says in the title – a song about realising you’re better off not together in a relationship. It sounds like a filler at first listen, but I guess it does serve a purpose in the greater scheme of the album by offering some form of dénouement as we approach the final track.
The final eponymous track! Anne-Marie revealed that this was the only song she wrote after coming up with the title of the album, so it’s only fitting that it’s the closer.
“Therapy can come in so many forms, like writing a diary or growing vegetables or speaking to a friend. It’s doing what you love and figuring yourself out. In this song, I talk about love being the answer to happiness or getting tattoos making me feel happier. But when we remove all of the outward distraction, we see that true happiness comes from ourselves—from our own brains. It’s so personal. I treated that studio session like a therapy session.” (Apple Music)
I don’t know about you, but Therapy feels like healing to me.