The third album from Gabrielle Aplin, Dear Happy, is a beautiful record from the English songstress.
‘Until The Sun Comes Up’ opens the album with a poetic introduction. Aplin offers deep lyrics and emotive vocals, as she sings, “do you want to get lost, go waste our time / lose this city skyline,” with a slow upbeat, electronic rhythm that will take the listener back to a first love experience.
‘Invisible’, ‘Kintsugi’, and ‘Strange’ have strong choruses. There’s a radio-friendly vibe, with electro pop beats and danceable rhythms, that will engage listeners who may not be familiar with Gabrielle Aplin.
There are also a few slow tempo tracks on the album, like ‘One of Those Days’ and ‘My Mistake’, showcasing her smooth vocal pitches, drawing the listener in on an emotional journey.
Gabrielle Aplin confesses she’s given more to those who give her less. This leads her to demand more on tracks like ‘Miss You’ and ‘Like You Say You Do’, finding her in stronger moments with powerful vocals, catchy piano riffs, and drums. On an emotional level, this is certainly a turning point for the album.
‘Losing Me’, a duet with JP Cooper, is a wonderful addition to the album. Their harmonies, storytelling, and techno beats, make the listener more aware of their surroundings.
Aplin’s voice is lovely throughout, with fascinating vocal effects on ‘So Far So Good’, a light summery instrumental. ‘Nothing Really Matters’ displays Aplin’s intense experiences with love over a piano/synth instrumental. Following this is ‘Magic’, a dreamy, romantic track. ‘Love Back’ has a confident message that finds Aplin returning to herself, finally acknowledging her self-worth and love for herself.
Album closer ‘Dear Happy’ is a delicate piano ballad, penned about a certain turning point in her life. Aplin’s expressions of self-love throughout the track certainly add a personal layer. As if willing the emotion into being, she sings:
“It’s not easy for me, but I know that I’m close.”
As the album progresses, Aplin’s songwriting abilities are front and centre. She’s more personal than ever before with her lyrics, instrumentation, and vocals. Dear Happy features both huge vocal moments and stripped back piano ballads. It’s an uplifting release and Aplin’s lyrical content, whether positive or heartbreaking, brings the listener along on her emotional journey.
Different types of love consume the album, and Gabrielle Aplin perfectly expresses herself. She discusses the navigation of her romantic journey to where she is today. Across fourteen indie-pop tracks, Aplin documents her relationships with heartbreaking love songs.
Above all, Dear Happy has unforgettable choruses, deep storytelling, and wonderful vocals. It’s a cohesive, surprising album, with each track bringing something different to the collection. An enjoyable listen from start to finish, full of wonderful pop tunes, Dear Happy is a solid, memorable project that tops Aplin’s previous work.