Published Nov 18, 2019Bishop Briggs' debut full-length, Church of Scars, was released only last year, but the UK artist was hyped as someone to watch two years before that in Rolling Stone. While that initial release was a catalyst that launched her to new heights, her second album, Champion, continues that trajectory.
As with prior releases, Champion's sound is hyper-infectious, often employing trap-inspired beats and guttural waves of synth. Woven together with Briggs' sultry-yet-urgent chops, powerful in its force and shot through with elements of soul and gospel, the album swells with searing catharsis. Powerhouse is a bit of an understatement when it comes to Briggs, and while her anthemic tracks land like a punch ("Champion" has no qualms as acting poster child), it's her subtlety and subdued output that often holds the authority.
"I Still Love You," "Someone Else" and "I Tried" usher in an abrupt drop from the rest of the album's high intensity, instead putting the focus on lithe keys and light strings, letting us hear her vulnerability clearly without thrust or pomp. That said, shit-kicking, gut-punching tracks like "Jekyll & Hide," with its stomping gait and grimy guitar, still tower and empower. Grandiose in its bite, depth and soul, Champion lives up to its name. (Universal/Island)