Anne-Marie ‘s Unhealthy: Reflective Pop and Artistic Challenges


Anne-Marie ‘s third LP, titled Unhealthy, takes a reflective approach, delving into personal relationships through punchy production. Known for her relatable brand, the Essex-raised artist became a spokesperson for self-acceptance with her debut album Speak Your Mind and its follow-up Therapy. Her earlier works featured tropical house-lite beats, striking a chord with audiences and earning her massive streaming numbers and radio airplay.

In Unhealthy, Anne-Marie shifts her focus inward, exploring the dynamics of two consecutive relationships. However, despite the personal disclosures, the lyrical themes tend to resolve immediately after being presented. The songs’ brevity, with most clocking in at just over two minutes, also raises suspicions of being tailored for playlisting purposes, considering Anne-Marie’s previous streaming success.

While the album showcases Anne-Marie’s attempts to channel intimate and darker emotions through pop, some reference points feel opportunistic rather than genuine. Collaborations like “Psycho” with Aitch, borrowing the melody from “Mambo No.5,” and flipping Oliver’s “I’d Do Anything” in “Obsessed” appear more gimmicky than heartfelt expressions. Such choices risk giving the songs an expiry date and diluting their emotional impact.

Despite the admirable goal of presenting empowering themes, some tracks are overshadowed by hyperbolic takes on revenge without a significant emotional payoff. “Irish Goodbye,” stands out as a highlight, featuring dreamlike textures and Disney-like strings, where Anne-Marie articulates a yearning for one last moment with a soon-to-be ex.

In summary, Unhealthy attempts to explore Anne-Marie’s personal experiences through pop music, but it faces challenges in effectively conveying the intended emotional depth and relatability that marked her earlier works. The album showcases both shining moments and icy filler, leaving listeners with mixed impressions.