The Queensland pop artist wrote each of the 14 heart-touching tracks herself, with the odd addition from some massive names including Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, St Vincent), Joel Little (Lorde), and Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus who features on the rousing romantic track ‘Psycho‘.
Opening with the infectious ‘I Got You‘, the huge efforts that have gone into Love Monster are immediately clear. Somehow the album features luscious production but maintains Shark’s signature minimalism. Sweet guitars and snappy beats underscore Shark’s bright voice and honest lyrics, complemented with subtle but powerful synths.
Third track ‘All Loved Up‘ is a perfect example of this smart song-craft. Capturing a natural sense of love, yearning and confusion, the track layers vibrant vocal harmonies with warm bass and growing synth melodies that never overtake Shark’s delicate lyrics, but instead evolve alongside the emotions within them.
A lyrical thread runs through the album, and it’s as simple as being about love. But it’s the endless details in Shark’s lyrics that make every track new and profound, rendering the most authentic romances and heartaches through tales of flights, bike lights and dying plants.
The real achievement of Love Monster however, is that the music is not just a vessel for Shark’s lyrics but an innovative and creative exploration of pop itself. Towards the end of the album, ‘Mess Her Up‘ blossoms from finger-picked guitar to a modern symphony of contorting sounds and trap beats, creating an irresistibly aching track that will get you moving as well as feeling.
Love Monster is a phenomenal debut rich with heart-fluttering and shattering moments. It felt like forever, but now that Amy Shark’s album is here, it’s clear the time put into it was worth the wait.