“It Was Always You” by Sabrina Monique

“It Was Always You” is the new single from White Plains, NY’s Sabrina Monique, and will likely stand as one of the defining tracks for this portion of her career. It’s as assertive and impassioned of a statement regarding self-worth as you’re likely to hear from 2024’s pop music releases. Monique has a powerhouse voice capable of great subtlety and, combined with her lyrical acumen, makes for an incredible presentation that’s compelling for anyone listening. You don’t have to be a fan of pop music to enjoy this performance. All you need are ears, an open mind, and a welcoming heart.

The welcoming heart comes into play with its willingness to experience the disappointments in love that Monique has endured. Those defeats rest easy on her now, but there are telling lines scattered throughout the song that testify to the injuries she’s sustained at the hands of the song’s subject. However, she’s obviously not taking it anymore, and her committed refusal to further entertain his deceptions and disrespect manifests itself in a myriad of ways.

The writing depicts it with immediacy and a gallery of different emotions. Her voice does an excellent job embodying the biting lyrical content. There’s obviously no labor spared in her effort to tailor the singing to fit the track, and both components, the musical and vocal, move along together in near-lockstep for the song’s entirety. The rhythmic engine of the song is its percussion track, and it gains a lot from how her voice complements the backbeat and vice versa.

The song also gains a great deal from its music video. It would be inaccurate to label the clip a concept video, but it’s clear that she put a great deal of consideration into the video’s visual design. The wardrobe, color layout, editing, and supporting cast decisions all play critical roles in the ultimate success of the clip and help it stand on its own as fetching eye candy that accentuates the song’s message.

There’s a fat bass pulse that anchors the song as well. Monique’s pop music is obviously a few grades above paint by numbers, but she still hopes to get people up and moving to its beat, without a doubt. The bass would sound absolutely enormous coming through a club sound system. It’s a song that promises a strong live performance as well. You can hear that she’d have to make a few adjustments, perhaps, to pull it off live, but it holds enormous promise for onstage performances.

“It Was Always You” checks off the boxes you want from this type of material. Sabrina Monique strides and surges forward with the sort of confidence that’s innate, it cannot be taught, and experienced listeners will place their trust in her from the outset. It’s an invigorating and bracing musical ride that predicts great things in her future, but the future is now. She’s commanding the present with the authority that’s usually the purview of much more experienced performers, and it never comes across as anything less than natural.

Gwen Waggoner