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  • Cheyenne Johnson

Album Review: "How Were We To Know" - Emeli Sandé

Photo Credits: Genius

Releasing her fifth studio album, Emeli Sandé captivates with How Were We To Know. The album tackles themes of love, loss, and self-acceptance, giving audiences something anyone can relate to. Full of fresh new sounds, How Were We To Know mixes elements of dance, reggae, and gospel music with commercial pop. The album is some of Sandé’s most impressive work, letting the world know the pop artist will forever be a force to be reckoned with.


All This Love

My Boy Likes To Party


How Were We To Know

Too Much

Nothing We Can't Handle

Like I Loved You

There For You

True Colours

End Of Time


Debuting in 2012, Emeli Sandé released her first album, Our Version Of Events, after being announced as the winner of the Critic’s Choice prize at the BRIT Awards. She received a plethora of critical acclaim and praise from legendary artists, including Alicia Keys and Madonna. With the hit singles “Heaven,” “Read All About It, Pt. III,” and “Next To Me,” Our Version Of Events became the biggest-selling album of the year and remains one of the best-selling albums of the 2010s. Sandé has continued to enjoy much success, having sold 19 million singles, 6 million albums, and receiving 4 BRIT awards. She has also received an MBE for Services to Music in 2018 and became the University of Sunderland’s Chancellor in 2019. Marking her first release on an independent label, Sandé released Let’s Say For Instance in 2022, marking a new era for her expansive artistry. Sandé continues to impress with this latest release, How Were We To Know, giving long-time fans and new listeners something to enjoy.

Starting off strong, How Were We To Know begins with the huge, epic sounds of “All This Love.” The track tackles the intricacies of relationships, diving into the complex emotions that come with them. “All This Love” is an infectious, upbeat song that features Sandé’s powerful vocals and energetic pop beats. Up next, “My Boy Likes To Party” keeps the upbeat energy going, combining fun and playful melodies with trap-influenced beats. “Lighthouse” changes things up a bit, having some reggae influences. The relaxed nature of the track makes it compelling, providing an interesting background for Sandé’s poignant reflections.

Being one of the most stunning songs on the album, “How Were We To Know” steals the spotlight with its powerful melodies and raw emotions. Sandé’s vocal prowess shines on this track as she belts out passionate choruses. The pop power ballad is a masterpiece in its own right, letting the titular track stand out above the rest. Turning to softer sounds, “Too Much” comes next with a more scaled-back soundscape. The tender ballad is more simplistic in its composition, featuring contemplative piano lines, soft melodies, and light vocal harmonies. “Nothing We Can’t Handle” gives listeners something inspirational to hang onto, providing a positive message of being able to handle anything no matter how hard life gets.

Moving away from ballads for a moment, “Like I Loved You” picks up the pace with energetic pop beats and memorable melodies. The track keeps things real, giving a vulnerable look at the end of a bittersweet relationship. While “Like I Loved You” deals with feelings of love and loss, the track remains positive as Sandé sings that her “broken heart will carry on.” Slowing things down again, “There For You” comes next as a mid-tempo track. The song captures the pain that can come with unconditional love, featuring lyrics like, “Even though it hurts, I’ll still be there for you.” Switching up from themes of love and heartache, “True Colours” delves into self-love and finding inner strength, letting listeners know they’re beautiful the way they are. The track features another breathtaking performance by Sandé, showcasing her ability to seamlessly move between quiet and belted lines.

Wrapping up the album, “End Of Time” and “Love” end How Were We To Know on an optimistic note. Both of the tracks sound like hope incarnate, featuring uplifting melodies and dreamy piano-laden soundscapes. Sandé lets her voice soar on both performances, leaving listeners to crave more from the captivating vocalist.

Continuing to show the world her undeniable talents, Emeli Sandé has delivered the performance of a lifetime with How Were We To Know. The album features familiar sounds from the artist that the world initially fell in love with while also pushing boundaries to create a sonic masterpiece. Sandé proves her vocal abilities to be limitless, leaving listeners in awe track after track. Whether someone is a long-time fan of Sandé or hearing her for the first time, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this enchanting addition to the artist’s impressive catalog.

Written By Cheyenne Johnson

*copyright not intended. Fair use act, section 107.


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