Within the first two tracks of this, her 7th album, Amy Loftus signposts the fact that whilst pop music might lie at the core of Sweetest Surrender, there is still much to explore within that broad generic label. Whilst the opening salvo and titular single kicks things off in sassy pop style, a heartfelt love letter to her husband, a thread that runs through the album, Me and You, musically at least, offers up a more sultry pop vision. And it is between these two extremes, the obvious dance floor groover and the less obvious and more intimate indie-dance anthem that the album finds its personality.
There is room for strutting rock drives in the form of Only Human, feel good boogies such as We Have It All and country-pop on the album’s swan song On The Inside. For my money though she is at her best when blending those accessible pop passions with some more mercurial moods. Higher Ground is a gorgeously drifting, sonic lucid dream that matches space and atmosphere into the perfect cinematic soundscape and I Do is a minimalist ballad that has late night radio and chart success written all over it. Story of My Life is a fantastic piece of brooding beauty, its as simple as that.
Pop music doesn’t have to be obvious and pandering, Sweetest Surrender proves just that. It shows that even the most commercially accessible songs can still be built with real integrity, real passion rather than the usual production line, pop by numbers. It also shows that beyond the clean lines and infectious grooves, there is room for enticing and graceful songs, timeless and genre-less pieces that exist only because they had to be written not to serve some higher purpose cash till ring.
Amy Loftus is a triumph. One day all pop music will be made this way.