After the release of the ridiculously catchy moombahton banger Ciao Adios, it was clear that Anne-Marie Rose Nicholson meant business, even to anyone not already familiar with her via collaborations with Clean Bandit and Rudimental. A guitar driven kiss-off to a two-timing lover with a melody that bounces around infectiously, no other tracks on Speak Your Mind quite top it, but plenty hit a similar sweet spot.
Tracks like Heavy and the summery Can I Get Your Number pursue a similar dancehall-influenced sound which Anne-Marie sounds most comfortable in, and along with Ciao Adios are the highlights on the album.
Some trap influences also shine through on Alarm, Bad Girlfriend and Friends – with Marshmello, which also features a very enjoyable G-Funk breakdown.
The lyrical themes mostly centre around relationships that are either in trouble, breaking up or over already. The latter is the basis of the album’s only real mis-step: 2002, with lazy name-drops of various old pop songs (that didn’t come out in 2002, as everyone’s already pointed out by now) designed to ride a wave of nostalgia that’s very trendy at the moment.
Earlier track Then covers similar ground in a far better way, with lyrics about giving up on a troubled partner (“I stood by your side / and pulled you away from your fire / again and again and again / I should have known fire would win”).
Clocking in at 41 minutes, Speak Your Mind is a slick, well-produced offering that delivers on Anne-Marie’s potential without overstaying its welcome, the best British pop debut in a while.