thu 18/08/2022

CD: Sigrid - Sucker Punch | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Sigrid - Sucker Punch

CD: Sigrid - Sucker Punch

You may have heard this one before, but it's worth revisiting

Bittersweet bangers with just the right amount of weird

You’d be forgiven for thinking, in the age of streaming, that the promotional single was a dying art. And yet there’s already something familiar about Sigrid’s long-awaited debut album.

It’s almost two years since “Don’t Kill My Vibe” was the song of the summer, propelling its young Norwegian protagonist to the heady heights of Glastonbury and the BBC Sound of 2018 title making its inclusion, along with fellow 2017 track “Strangers”, on her first full-length appear a little cheeky. Consider them the advance guard - or perhaps a Trojan horse - for a collection of bittersweet bangers with just the right amount of weird.

Title track “Sucker Punch” sets the scene. It’s the most gloriously giddy pop album opener since Lorde’s “Green Light”: a bubblegum hit with a perfect pop chorus, delivered with a wry smile. “I didn’t want to write a happy song,” she sings, with a knowing wink, before the song explodes into fireworks again. “Mine Right Now” tricks you into thinking that she’s taking it back a notch - but only to the 1980s, from which its shimmering refrain if not the love-him-and-leave-him lyrics spring - while “Basic” wraps a Robyn-for-Generation-Z vocal around an infectious “na-na-na-na” riff.

And while those big choruses might feel a bit stale once you see them coming (probably by “Sight of You”, if you’re listening straight through rather than sprinkling these confections liberally through your ‘Prosecco Hangs’ playlists the way nature intended), Sigrid has a way of elevating even the most throwaway tracks. As a song, “Level up” is nothing to write home about - but the way her loose, lightly accented vocal soars through the high notes is still kinda special, even more so when the production falls away over the last couple of notes. “Don’t Feel Like Crying” is empowerment-by-numbers for the Snapchat generation, but who among us won’t relate to its mundane detail: “I know I should be ordering takeout sitting on my couch, but wallowing in it would be such a waste”.

Anyone can string together two years worth of bangers with the right producers in tow - but that voice marks Sigrid as a pop star with proper staying power. The way it cracks on the heartbreaking chorus at album mid-point “In Vain” hints at it, but come closing track “Dynamite” you’ll be on your knees. A precocious world-weariness cracks open what begins as a tenderly wistful croon - and when Sigrid sings “know that I am dynamite”, you’ll hear the explosion from space.

Below: watch the "Sucker Punch" video


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