Release Date: November 4th 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Sigrid– How To Let Go (Special Edition) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
- It Gets Dark
- Burning Bridges
- Risk Of Getting Hurt
- Thank Me Later
- Last To Know
- Everybody Says They’re Fine [NEW TRACK]
- A Driver Saved My Night
- Mistake Like You
- Bad Life (feat. Bring Me The Horizon)
- High Note
- It Gets Dark (out in space, acoustic)
- Burning Bridges (up close, acoustic)
- Risk Of Getting Hurt (up close)
- Thank Me Later (up close)
- Mirror (by the piano, acoustic)
- Last To Know (up close)
- Blue [NEW TRACK]
- Dancer (up close)
- Everybody Says They’re Fine (up close)
- A Driver Saved My Night (up close)
- Mistake Like You (up close)
- Bad Life (feat. Bring Me The Horizon) (acoustic)
- Grow (up close)
- High Note (up close)
Ever since Jon and myself started writing our still-ongoing blog series about influential artists of all time around about close to 4 years ago, we’ve been slowly but surely branching out and listening to artists that we probably would never would have had it not been for the blog series. We’ve discovered newer artists and veteran singers alike; and we’ve concluded that God can and often does use any and every artist to, if not point to Him and His unending love, at least reveal something deep and meaningful about the world we live in and something of value that we can use in our everyday life for our betterment. I’m a ‘lyrics guy’ mostly- I generally gravitate to music of lyrical substance over party music that places the importance of beats as the highest thing. And so, as I was wanting to give a challenge to myself, and I wanted to review something that would stretch me musically, lyrically, thematically and in every other way; I scrolled through the Apple Music pre-orders page on the app on my phone, as well as taking a look at Wikipedia. Sigrid was a name that popped up and grabbed my attention, and since May 2022 (when her second album How To Let Go released, which I reviewed here); I’ve been listening to her music. She’s one of my friend’s favourite music artists, and so I was checking out her music on his recommendation; but ultimately How To Let Go surprised me in a good way, as I’m presented with an honest album full of inspiration and an album that isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions and deal with the things that probably most CCM albums sweep underneath the rug.
Yet as I’ve written the review of the album, you can read about it here and I don’t need to delve into something I’ve explored previously. The fact of the matter was that I had no idea who Sigrid was when going into this album review; but I felt and still feel that with this album, it shouldn’t matter, as this album stands on its own apart from who Sigrid is as a person and as an artist. In fact, every album shouldn’t be listened to via the lens of ‘this artist is great so I’m gonna listen to it’ or ‘I don’t like this artist so I’m not going to give this album a chance’. Because if you have a limited view on what album is great and what album isn’t based on your own preconceptions that you’re viewing your favourite artist from… well I’d say you’re never really going to grow and find some amazing album that may change your life for the better in the future. Because you’ll always be playing it safe album-wise. Some food for thought, don’t you think? Anyway, I digress. The point is that How To Let Go is powerful, compelling, inspiring, impactful, vulnerable, emotional, personal and every other positive adjective I could think of. Sigrid is not a household name. but if we drop all of our predispositions and assumptions about her down and listen to this album with no expectations… let me say that you will be surprised in a good way and encouraged immensely as well.
We’re not here to re-hash old ground though. In November last year, Sigrid expanded upon her album, re-releasing How To Let Go, this time with 15 extra tracks (13 acoustic tracks and 2 new tracks), culminating in How To Let Go (Special Edition). The result is a more complete album and a must-have for those not yet immersed in Sigrid. But for those who have listened to How To Let Go before and have immersed ourselves in that… is this new project worth it? Perhaps. Depends how you view acoustic songs and the two brand new tracks. Regardless, Sigrid is a talent and a once-in-a-generation pop artist. Should Sigrid have released this deluxe version of her album on the same day as the standard version? Yes, I do, I think so very much- so that listeners can have a choice as of what to listen to. However, such is the nature of the music industry where artists decide on a whim to release deluxe editions eons after the standard edition (I’m looking at our Newsboys and Stand (Deluxe)!), and nobody bats an eyelid. Sometimes there’s a great deluxe album that arises after a standard edition album (Ed Sheeran’s = (Tour Edition)!) but that’s not often the case. It’s not an ideal situation, but at least we’re still receiving new music from our favourite artists.
All of these 13 new acoustic tracks are cleverly recorded- but none of them add anything to the original versions sadly. Sigrid’s vocals are sublime as always, but I feel like these acoustic versions sound more lullaby-ish and tired than probably Sigrid intended them to be. The brand-new track “Everybody Says They’re Fine” is a solid mental-health anthem, yet I find Colony House’s “One Of Those Days” or even “Trying To Survive”, more compelling; while “Blue”, an acoustic country-like track, is the strongest that I’ve heard from Sigrid ever, as she eloquently and vulnerably sings about her faults and insecurities and allows us all to feel the pain and real emotions that she is feeling, and that ‘…it hits you hard in the chest, it doesn’t really mean a thing right now, it’s when they tell you that it’s serious, it all starts flashing by, and you suddenly realize you’re out of control, oh, how I wish that we were anywhere else, but in the clouds, when life comes crashing down, I fall into blue…’.
From death and relationships to mental health and platonic friendships, Sigrid’s new album speaks volumes and is a must for anyone to listen. It’s not an album that you will latch onto first up- because it’s musically more alternative and slower than the usual pop on the radio; however, I reckon we should all give this album a try. Sigrid needs to be congratulated- even on the somewhat ‘plain’ and ‘ordinary’ deluxe album. I’m still not an avid fan of hers; but she will be big in the coming months and years- and it is because of this album. Well done, Sigrid, I can’t wait to hear what is next from you!
I have made acoustic versions of my singles since the beginning, and they’ve (almost) all been done with Askjell, one of my closest friends and collaborators. It’s been a nice way to check in with the actual songwriting in between heavy promoting, touring, video shoots, and traveling.
‘Everybody Says They’re Fine’ is a song Askjell and I wrote for the album almost two years ago, but wanted to save it for a special moment, so here we are! It’s a song about pressure and just not feeling at your best. I usually try to come to some sort of a conclusion in my choruses, because I find so much joy and release in singing my songs live and feel like there’s a solution or a good takeaway to things, but for this one we decided to just go with that feeling and just say it as it is.
4 songs to listen to: A Driver Saved My Night, Bad Life, High Note, Blue
RIYL: Zara Larsson, Lorde, Dua Lipa, Tate McRae, Olivia Rodrigo