Entertainment » Music

Sucker Punch

by JC Alvarez
Tuesday Mar 12, 2019
Sucker Punch

Norwegian pop artist Sigrid wants her listeners to understand she's poured her heart and soul into the tracks on her full-length "Sucker Punch." Her premiere track, "Don't Kill My Vibe," which sits amidst a setlist of confections, is her proclamation of independence. The singer/songwriter sticks her nose up at an industry that has immediately dismissed her and otherwise ignored her relevancy. Like so many of her contemporaries who have chosen a musical platform by which to exorcise their angst, the album speaks for itself.

The album's opening title track has an edgy snarl to it that beckons us to a closer examination that Sigrid is demanding. The electro-pop production with the sonically enhanced vocal effects have a genuinely giddy quality; it comes off sometimes like something deep, but the rather tilt of Sigrid's arrangement and lack of emphasis in her voice doesn't immediately give the music time to rise to the top. The follow-up, "Mine Right Now," sounds like so many other contemporary pop acts, the track seeps into the background.

There's no doubt that in today's pop-music arena, it's nearly impossible to predict what is going to stand out. Unless an artist has the commercially numbing appeal of Ariana Grande, a genuine vocal talent that lacks any artistic depth, the saturation of music on the landscape becomes somewhat basic. Sigrid has an intriguing appeal, the productions are predictable, the vocals are reductive at best; the songs lack the resonating hooks that got Lady Gaga into the game, but the effort is genuine and pleasant here.

Among the set list there are some standout melodies. The rousing "Don't Feel Like Crying" has plenty of the exuberant energy you'd want from a summer radio hit. It's easily penetrative beats make for easy cruising along the boulevard with the top down. It's jaunty and bouncy and has the same kind of energy that made Carly Rae Jepson an overnight sensation. "Strangers" has a joyful play to it that gets your head bopping and moving to the beat. These nuggets will no doubt reach to the core of Sigrid's audience — teenage girls can relate to the messaging in these tracks.

There's a spark to "Sucker Punch" that comes across profoundly, but perhaps not as prophetically as the artist might want. "Sight Of You" is without a doubt the most interesting of the bunch, and perhaps the one song that most closely relates the artist's experience. It feels the most authentic as well — you can see the song being performed as simply as you can settle into its rhythm. It certainly gets the best out of Sigrid. The ballads on "Sucker Punch" fall flat, lacking the heft of the pop tunes — regardless of the punch Sigrid promises to pack; they can be easily skipped.

"Sucker Punch"
by Sigrid
available on CD and most Digital Download platform

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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