The Music Review Site Where YOUR Opinion Matters

Sharon van etten are we there

Are We There

Sharon Van Etten - 2014

  Some guy, or maybe multiple guys, really did a number on Sharon Van Etten. She sings about love in a captivating, dark way, that you can just tell is coming from somewhere deep inside of her. This is now her 4th album in 5 years, and you would think that maybe she has gotten it all out by now, but “Are We There” is her most heartfelt album of torturous love songs yet. Van Etten is one of those artists that have made an obvious progression over the course of her albums. From the beginning she’s been the type of singer/songwriter that makes you stop what you’re doing and pay attention. Something in her delivery and songwriting just lets you know that she means it. While she’s had that since the start, her songs have grown in scope and grandeur. Sometimes it’s about instrumentation, and sometimes it’s about lyrics, but mostly what strikes me is the emotional build through the songs. “Are We There” is a cathartic experience for her. Even when song titles hint at a positive message they end up being clouded by darkness. “Every Time The Sun Comes Up” sounds like a hopeful title, but the chorus lyrics “Every time the sun comes up I’m in trouble” squash that. You just need to know what you’re getting with miss Van Etten. I love the darkness of it, and it’s a great album closer. She’s getting some heavy shit out on this album. One of my favorite tracks of the year is “Your Love Is Killing Me”, with the chorus: Break my legs so I won’t walk to you Cut my tongue so I can’t talk to you Burn my skin so I can’t feel you Stab my eyes so I can’t see you You like it when I let you walk all over me You tell me that you like it Your love is killing me Whew! That’s a big meatball to throw out there. That stuff is all over this album. At the same time, it can be really beautiful as on “Nothing Will Change”, with it’s tasty horns and backing vocals. She gets a little piano-vocal/Fiona on “I Know” to great success. There are misses on this album however. “Our Love” is kind of a boring Sade style track that does nothing for me, and “Break Me” just isn’t that good of a song when compared to the rest of the album. "Are We There” is Sharon's most confident sounding album, even with such vulnerable lyrics. Her delivery is more robust than ever. The arrangements continue to grow from simple singer songwriter into an artist who uses everything she has at her disposal. Her 2012 album Tramp almost made my top ten, and I think "Are We There" has an even better shot.

Posted by Tambe



Posted: 08/07/2014

Review by:



Tambe ranks this as the
#4 favorite album of 2014