Review

Sharon Van Etten

We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong

Jagjaguwar • 2022

Assuming that such albums exist on which an artist’s metamorphosis can be heard – then »We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong« is certainly not one of them. On her sixth album, Sharon Van Etten continues to make music to which you can finish the wine and hate on the world. Exquisitely well, in fact. And Sharon Van Etten continues to master the good old climax like no one else. In »Headspace« she pleads: »Baby, don’t turn your back on me.« To this, the guitar saws its way through the rhythm, while an old synthesiser throws a few notes into the song. Similarly, »I’ll Try« cleverly marries wacky indie charm with ideas from Eighties pop. In an interview with the US magazine Billboard, the 41-year-old US artist said that she doesn’t know why she did this to herself, these highs and lows and vocal interludes that she put on this album. Which is bullshit. She knows exactly why. Because this music only works up close. With each of the ten songs, it takes the feeling of Sharon Van Etten sitting on the couch in the living room, us cross-legged on the floor in front of her, and all of a sudden no one feels alone anymore; the world still sucks but it’s bearable. No one is transformed. Rather, the gaze is directed inwards. And anyone who wanders through the landscape of their own soul like this could hardly wish for a better soundtrack than »We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong«.