There are moments on Anne-Marie’s delayed follow-up to 2018’s hit-heavy, platinum-selling debut, Speak Your Mind, where she seems to almost disappear. Front-loaded with guests, from YouTuber-turned-rapper KSI to ex-One Directioner Niall Horan, and zigzagging across genres (trap, UK garage, MOR pop-rock, to name but three), Therapy often feels unanchored; like a generic hits playlist on shuffle. Kiss My (Uh-Oh) has a lot of fun with a sample from Lumidee’s 2003 hit Never Leave You, but it’s completely dominated by guests Little Mix and their not inconsiderable vocals.
Even when the featured artists are producers, as on Rudimental collaboration Unlovable, it still feels like a song swiped from their own album and bolted on here for streams. It’s a shame, because there are moments when Anne-Marie’s brand of plain-spoken yet vulnerable pop shines through, specifically on the pensive Breathing, which blooms into a gorgeous chorus, and the pulsating Better Not Together.
The highs feel fleeting, however. The title track promises much but only plays lip service to emotional soul-baring, while Ed Sheeran’s lyrical motifs dominate Beautiful’s cloying attempts at self-empowerment. A missed opportunity to let a star shine.