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Album Review: Sharon Van Etten - 'We've Been Going About This All Wrong'

Updated: May 4, 2023

Sharon Van Etten, one of music's most astounding singer/songwriters has returned for her sixth album We've Been Going About this All Wrong. It drops everywhere Friday on Jagjaguwar. This album might just be the perfect album for the moment we as a society find ourselves in right now. Post-pandemic, in the middle of political vitriol, and amid an ever shifting landscape of change, Van Etten captures all of this and more on this album.

She effortlessly threads themes of finding ourselves in a world that is seemingly falling apart around us. She also pours out on issues of being a mother and love. Music is meant to evoke an emotional response from the listener and We've Been Going About this All Wrong certainly does that. Her track "Home to Me" written about her son is an absolute masterclass in combining great lyrics with the perfect rhythms and harmonies to make something that grips your heart unrelentingly.

Interestingly, Van Etten has chosen not to release any of the songs from the album prior to the release date. So all the singles released thus far do not appear on the album. This is because she intends the album to be listened to in order and digested as one unit. There is something I love about this. In a world of singles, EP's, and one-offs, there's something about sitting with the entire record that resonates well with me. And for what it's worth, she's right. The album does deserve to be digested whole, as Van Etten takes you on a musical journey like few can.

For fans of the New Jersey native, We've Been Going About this All Wrong will feel like the next step in the singer/songwriter's evolution as one of the best in the business. For the newcomers here, this album is certainly worth your time and earns my highest grade.

Rating - 5/5

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