Following Sharon Van Etten's Remind Me Tomorrow, which came out in 2019 and marked her highest-charting album to date, We've Been Going About This All Wrong keeps the singer/songwriter's heartbreaking heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics and matching sonic palette intact. The indie artist definitely will not be topping the charts with this one, but taken on its own level, this 2022 album is moving and meaningful.
Van Etten's lyrics have a similar draw as they do on the evocative Remind Me Tomorrow, but here, she draws a shade over her stories to reflect the darkness of the past few years. By no means is this wallowing in sadness, however; with song titles like 'I'll Try,' 'Home To Me,' and, most tellingly, 'Come Back,' the word 'searching' seems to be more appropriate. We've Been Going About This All Wrong has a yearning quality to it, and where she succeeds in establishing this mood across the record, the number of standout tracks fades behind the album cohesion.
The Verdict on 'We've Been Going About This All Wrong'
If it has not already been made clear, do not expect to hear ear-grabbing singles like 'Comeback Kid' and 'Seventeen' on this record. We've Been Going About This All Wrong takes time to sink in, maybe even two or three full listens. The standout moments reveal themselves, but only after one can pick apart the nuance of each track. If the listener can let things sink in before going back for close listening on round two, this new Sharon Van Etten has a shot at majorly sticking with you. Otherwise, you'll have to find instant gratification somewhere else.