Amy Shark’s debut album hit number one, went platinum and won an ARIA for Album of the Year. But a sense of self-doubt permeates her second album. “Lately I’ve been losing,” she sings, “letting people down a lot, cutting all the corners, standing on shoulders.”

[Read our interview with Amy Shark here.]

But there’s no sophomore jinx here. With its dynamic, contemporary pop, Cry Forever consolidates Shark’s position as one of our finest songwriters.

Like an Aussie Alanis, she’s not afraid to say exactly what’s on her mind, and she’s also capable of conveying true emotion in short, simple sentences. “You were never there before,” she sings in I’ll Be Yours, “now you’re everything I see.” Shark brings some added star power along for the ride, though she’s not standing on anyone’s shoulders. Keith Urban duets on Love Songs Ain’t For Us (which Shark wrote with Ed Sheeran) and Blink-182’s Travis Barker guests on C’mon; Shark also collaborated with the great American songwriter Dan Wilson (Adele, The [Dixie] Chicks, Missy Higgins) on the sweet treat You’ll Never Meet Anyone Like Me Again.

“It’s always a team effort,” Shark acknowledges. “Baby steps, baby steps.” But this album is a giant leap forward. Global stardom awaits.

Cry Forever by Amy Shark is out April 30 via Sony.

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