Thursday, January 9, 2020

2019 Album of the Year

Forevher by Shura is a beautiful album about falling in love and works well on so many levels.  What she did musically and lyrically are brilliant and so I'm writing this because I think it deserves special attention.  I say this every time I write about this album, but I really hope things work out for her and her new partner in life.

As for my album of the year well that has to go to Sigrid's Sucker Punch.  This album has dominated my year and is a brilliant piece of art as well as music.  There isn't a bad song on the album and my favorites have changed through the year.  I love the fact that I can share the majority of the album with my kids and they love it as well.

The most important thing about this album though is that it is truly an album. It all works together to tell a story and it does it very well. I'm going to break this down song by song so I hope you enjoy it.

1. Sucker Punch:  So the album opens with the title track.  This will set the tone for much of the album in terms of theme and song structure.  We have a dance tune that grabs at a feeling or an experience and lyrically structures the song around it.  In this song the key lyric is
Yeah, there's no pressure
At least that's what we always said
I was keeping it together
I guess I didn't understand
That I fell for you
I lost my cool
In this song we have a main character who was involved in a bit of a work place flirtation that turned into something more serious for her. Now she's worried about messing everything up.  It's a fun song and a good start to the album.

Adult Language

2. Mine Right Now:  In terms of album flow this song is a perfect next track.  Now we have a main character who has taken that next step in a relationship and is involved in a full blown romance.  But here the critical lyric is
But I ruin the moment 'cause I picture the end
And I don't wanna go there, so I tell myself that

Hey, it's alright if we don't end up together
'Cause you're mine right now
Hey, I don't mind if we don't get to forever
'Cause you're mine right now
Again it's a smart song that focuses in on a particular feeling or thought and then expanding on that. It works very well, especially with the upbeat music.

3. Basic:  As the album continues so does our story.  With all the drama that has surrounded our character so far now they have a simple question, can we be basic.  Here is the key lyric
Let's state the obvious
I'm tired of dancing around your heart
Oh, I need to know my part
It's another good solid melody and beat driving this song on the album. In the live performance video it's a completely different feel which I like.

4. Strangers: Things turn a bit darker on this song. There are two key lyrics here.
When the curtain drops
Our touch is just a touch
Not like in the movies
Our story's after the end
. . .
Think we got it, but we made up a dream
'Cause we've got a pretty look of what we could be, whoa
I don't want you, all you want is someone
Going home together to forget we're alone
This is a solid dance track and the lyrics fit it in perfectly with artists like Robyn who love to create these driving dance beats that sound upbeat but then when you dig into the lyrics you find there is something darker there.

5. Don't Feel Like Crying: OK now the romance seems to have come to an end and so our character is left alone. Her attitude is to say
Wallowing in it would be such a waste
That isn't gonna fix it anyway
This is another solid dance tune that at the root is not really as upbeat as it sounds. An important question in this song is asked when she sings
Hope you don't blame me for what I'm saying
My heart is aching, do you feel it too?
You ask about the other persons feelings because you hope they feel the same thing, which means there is hope.

6. Level Up: I find this an interesting song lyrically. She slows things down on this song. This is not a dance track. I'm not sure here who is speaking but our couple is having a major discussion about their future. The key lyric here is
Nothing you say's gonna push me away
So don't brush it under the rug
'Cause when we get through the struggle
That's when we level up
I love using the term level up here like in a game when a character level's up.

7. Sight of You: It's fun because we are seven songs in and our little story is still going strong. Obviously our couple has been through a lot and now they are trying to make it work. This is our first really upbeat song and was one of my favorite love songs of the year.
Sometimes it's like nothin' is going my way
Even though I know I'm getting up on that stage
But now that I'm here, I got reason to believe
Just the sight of you is getting the best out of me

8. In Vain: This is where our story turns.  Our character's perspective on this relationship has completely flipped and now she's done with this relationship. It feels funny after the last song, but it works. We were at our highest and now we are at our lowest as the realization comes that this person will never love her the way she wants.  That love this person had for her, that made her feel so good it.  Turns out it was something she made up.
Should've questioned how you tried to keep it low
Never listened to all the alarms in my mind
That were telling me to go
You never talk, you keep your feelings underground
Never pictured myself as someone to catch you on the rebound

It's you I'm gonna miss
The one I tried to fix
Pathetic as it is
I like that Sigrid was able to take this song to a completely different place than everything up to this point. This song is angry and she brings it out with her vocals.

Adult Language

9. Don't Kill My Vibe: Now as our character moves away from this relationship she can see it for what it was and she has an answer for it that is very empowering.
You love to tear me down, you pick me apart
Then build me up like I depend on you
But I throw myself from heights that used to scare me
Guess you're surprised I'm the puzzle you can't figure out

10. Business Dinners: Our character is struggling with being independent and being who she wants to be. So much of her time in that relationship was being a person that someone wanted her to be, so now she has to find out who she is for herself.
In the silence, on my own
Trapped in my head from the moment I wake up
Oh, I've been feeling kinda low
Trapped in my head from the moment I wake up

11. Never Mine: This was my favorite song on the album. This relationship has been through a lot and now there is the idea of holding onto the original friendship with this person. The key lyric here is pretty simple as it gets repeated a lot.
I keep thinking where you at?
Between me and you, I want you back
But it doesn't make sense

You were never mine
That's right this person was never really her's. She gave her heart to them, but they never really gave here theirs. It was a messy relationship as we've seen with a lot of different emotions involved but in the end what she wants back isn't real because she never really had them.

12. Dynamite: In the end it comes to an end. She realizes that it is all over.
I'm the same, but I'm bolder
You'll get home, but I'm on my way out now
Not the same destinations
I will stay when you get off the train

You're as safe as a mountain
But know that I am dynamite

I don't know if this album was meant to work so perfectly as a story but I can't imagine it was coincidence. For a debut album this is great art as well as great music. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next but I can't imagine she'll be able to top this.


  1. Hurrah! I'm looking forward to digging into this.

  2. I love the decorative plates and knotty-pine paneling in the "Mine Right Now" video! I love them.

  3. "Level Up" is pretty. This is the album that Rory Gilmore would've made.

  4. Fantastic. I enjoyed listening to this whole album and reading this whole review.