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Emeli Sandé – How Were We To Know (2023) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Emeli Sandé – How Were We To Know (2023)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 41:19 minutes | 287 MB | Genre: Pop, R&B, Soul
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Chrysalis Records

Introduced to the world ten years ago, Emeli Sandé MBE has gone on to become an icon of British singer-songwriting: emotional, honest and prolific in a way that establishes her as an artist with a heart for pop sensibility.

This latest pop record harks back to 2012, when Emeli had her first breakthrough hit. “How Were We To Know” is Emeli’s second independent album released through Chrysalis Records. “There was a lot I wanted to say about myself, and I hope people can understand me on a deeper level through the lyrics.” The 11 tracks on “How Were We To Know” explore intimate encounters with love in all its forms, along with the risk required to pursue it. “Once you’ve been hurt, it’s very hard to pick up the pieces and allow yourself to be vulnerable,” Sandé says. “I think these songs are about the bravery of love, of loving others, but also loving yourself. These songs were pieces of a puzzle that I needed to put together, and now it feels like it’s the right time to share them.” The album was produced by Jonny Coffer (Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus), Jim Jonsin (ASAP Rocky, Usher, Eminem), DI Genius (Drake, Raye, Sean Paul), Rxwntree, Chris Loco and Mac & Phil.

On her fifth R&B-inflected album, British singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé makes pop music for grown-ups. “I put my heart on my wrist, don’t wanna bleed no more … You can put the blame on me, I swear/ Even though it hurts, I’ll still be there for you,” she sings on “There For You.” It is about, she has said, continuing to feel love for exes after the relationships are over. “Even if I’m pissed off with them for a couple of years, I’ll always care for them, I’ll always want to know they’re OK. Because once you’ve committed to that love with someone, it doesn’t just go away.” Big, sweeping R&B track “All This Love” focuses on being dumped way before you’re ready: “Since you stopped calling me baby/ Things have been a little bit shady/ Been jumping out of aeroplanes/ Racing in the fastest lanes,” she sings, wildly self-aware but unable to control herself. “What am I supposed to do with all this love?” Sandé implores, going from curious to desperately confused to ecstatic, her voice reaching a new high plane with seemingly no choice but to spread all that love around. The title track, a swelling breakup ballad, is equally powerful. Sandé’s words suggest she’s wounded and taking on blame—”We could’ve done better/ But sooner or later/ We stopped all love letters”—but it doesn’t stop her from flying to the rafters while, beneath her, crisp, cool, giant drum beats fire off shocks to the system. That drum style also carries “End of Time,” a bit of gospel soul that allows Sandé to get showy with her soprano. “My Boy LIkes to Party” is adult contemporary with a nervous edge, thanks to a skittering beat and iced, machinated effects on Sandé’s vocals before she leans into the interesting rushed bridge. “Lighthouse,” meanwhile, eases back with tropical dub rhythms and a slow-spinning shimmer that compliments the huskier shadow of her velvet-soft voice. It’s a bit Alicia Keys-esque, as is soulful piano track “Love”—which highlights Sandé’s remarkable control as she impressively alternates between dove coos and strongly delivered words. There are other familiar touchstones here, too. You can imagine Beyoncé from a different era—circa B’Day, perhaps—tackling songs like “True Colours” or “Nothing We Can’t Handle.” – Shelly Ridenour

Tracklist:
1-1. Emeli Sandé – All This Love (03:30)
1-2. Emeli Sandé – My Boy Likes To Party (03:25)
1-3. Emeli Sandé – Lighthouse (03:21)
1-4. Emeli Sandé – How Were We To Know (03:12)
1-5. Emeli Sandé – Too Much (02:54)
1-6. Emeli Sandé – Nothing We Can’t Handle (03:32)
1-7. Emeli Sandé – Like I Loved You (03:32)
1-8. Emeli Sandé – There For You (04:25)
1-9. Emeli Sandé – True Colours (03:40)
1-10. Emeli Sandé – End Of Time (03:59)
1-11. Emeli Sandé – Love (05:45)

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