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Review: Sigrid’s ‘Sucker Punch’ is Sweet, Self-Aware Dance-Pop

Norwegian singer’s debut comes packed with memorable hooks and relatable lyrics

sigrid sucker punch

Francesca Allen

“Can I be basic with you?” Norwegian singer Sigrid Raabe offers on her debut LP. In a moment where many aspiring pop artists pile on heroic pretensions, the idea of aspiring to normal-ness is refreshing, especially since the music that undergirds her lyrics is anything but basic – part openhearted acoustic confessional, part elated dancefloor gusher. Sigrid can recall anyone from Robyn and Dua Lipa to Maggie Rogers and Regina Spektor, sometimes in the same song. She first got attention with her tough-talking 2017 single “Don’t Kill My Vibe,” a European hit included here, and she later lent a cover of Leonard Cohen’s synth-doom classic “Everybody Knows” to the Justice League soundtrack. On her debut LP Sucker Punch, she smooths out strange moods into glistening songs, making for top-shelf coffee shop synth-pop.

Sigrid is a relatable, resilient everywoman who’s always getting tripped up in her own emotions, whether she’s singing about overthinking a romantic moment in “Mine Right Now,” battling stage fright in “Sight of You” or willing herself off the couch after a breakup in “Don’t Feel Like Crying.” This sense of overcoming doubt or confliction comes through in the music itself; often songs begin quietly, just her prettily parched voice and a bit of guitar or sparse groove, before they build to splashy, sing-along choruses. Blurring pop and folk, while singing with concise phrasing that feels jazz-schooled, she moves between genres with ease; the excellent title track marshals trap-y snare snaps, vocoder backing vocals and stripes of steel guitar that sound like they got patched in from Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark. And the Adele-size closer “Dynamite” showcases some impressively down-to-earth vocal firepower. Her common touch makes every impulse feel natural.

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