Sorry I Haven’t Called
Artsy New Yorker Vagabon’s third album Sorry I Haven’t Called is an exploration of young adulthood at its realest — messy. She confronts herself, others, and the past, all on songs debilitatingly honest that have some of the catchiest pop hooks of the year.
An album that opens with the admission “I got way too high for this” is destined to be full of journal-like ruminations and insights, and Vagabon doesn’t disappoint. On the atmospheric “Autobahn,” where she dissects a previous relationship, she advises, “Forget enough to love what you remember.” During the heartfelt closer “Anti-Fuck,” writing off a guy that is unable to show commitment, she sings, “Am I wrong to decide the last thing I want is unknown?” And on the frenetic “Do Your Worst,” she sees a worse version of herself when hanging out with a partner: “You turned me into someone I don’t fuck with.”
Her exploration of sounds also is constantly exciting — an understated house beat on “You Know How,” UK garage on “Do Your Worst,” skittering and immersive R&B on “Made Out With Your Best Friend,” a Radiohead In Rainbows-like guitar riff on “Lexicon,” whose clunky chorus denotes the song a little. “Carpenter” incorporates some bouncy Afrobeats, and the wavy, easy-going synths on “It’s A Crisis” run perpendicular to the overthinking she displays on the actual track.
If Sorry I Haven’t Called has a detriment, it might go hand in hand with one of its quirks — Vagabon’s light voice that works on “Can I Talk My Shit?” also falters on songs like “Carpenter” or “Lexicon,” where it feels a little underbaked. There, she sings on serviceable enough pop songs, but there’s a part that feels missing, as if a full effort wasn’t put into the recording process. On both “You Know How” and “Passing Me By,” too, odd vocal manipulations hinder the result — especially on the former, where her artificially deep voice is atop a dated mid-2010s party music beat.
Sorry I Haven’t Called is a warm and inviting record, if not a particularly inventive one. The record was written primarily after the death of one of her friends in 2021, but instead of a somber affair, it explores and celebrates it with its multitude of sounds. It’s a hooky, fun listen, there when you need to go out and dance or stay in and reflect.
Order by Sorry I Haven’t Called by Vagabon HERE
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