Margaret Glaspy: Devotion
The robotic voice that opens Margaret Glaspy’s second LP Devotion immediately lets listeners know that this is going to be a very different record from the singer/guitarist’s 2016 debut Emotions and Math. “We keep living like we’ll never die,” Glaspy sings through Daft Punk-style effects. “And we keep killing what keeps us alive.” There’s something poignant about those paradoxical lyrics that reflects Glaspy’s vision for the album. Devotion is a concept album in a way—12 songs about love from a number of different perspectives—that forced Glaspy to work outside of her comfort zone. Instead of starting these songs on guitar, she worked with computer-based production tools to build each track, which comes across in the glitchy, electronic beats that guide many of these compositions. Glaspy clearly knows her way around a love song, no matter the direction. On the poppy “Without Him,” she wonders, “What if he was walking away for good/ Oh what would I do without him?/ I’d be the same girl talking a big game/ While knocking on every door until I found him.” On “Young Love,” she’s direct with her intentions: “I know we’re young and it’s a little scary/ But our love it isn’t temporary/ I want to breathe, live, love, and die with you.” The anthemic “Vicious” looks at the aftershock of a breakup. “Maybe you didn’t mean to break a heart but you broke one,” she sings. “Maybe you didn’t mean any harm but you can’t play dumb/ When you’re so vicious.” The delicate “You Amaze Me” emphasizes Glaspy’s vulnerability, but it’s songs like the danceable “You’ve Got My Number,” which benefit from a repetitive electronic beat, that dominate Devotion’s pop-friendly leanings.