A Bold Departure for Sharon Van Etten

“Remind Me Tomorrow” is a dramatic change from her past material.

Album Review

Sharon Van Etten
Remind Me Tomorrow
Jagjaguwar

Somber anguish has long been a hallmark of Sharon Van Etten’s beautifully austere folk-pop, which probes the inner workings of relationships with unsparing directness. The startling “Remind Me Tomorrow” marks a dramatic sonic change, expanding her palette to include such elements as synths and uptempo grooves, with no loss of emotional heat. Continuing to map the terrain of the soul like an intrepid explorer, Van Etten declares, “The aura ‘round me says/’My love is for real’” to strains of theremin and bells on the shimmering “Jupiter,” and she looks at lost youth in the thumping “Seventeen,” exclaiming to her earlier self, “I wish I could show you how much you’ve grown.” Both a bold departure and an affirmation of her gifts, Remind Me Tomorrow finds Sharon Van Etten a little wiser and as compelling as ever.