If you read the names of the first two songs on Lauren Spencer Smith’s debut album—“Never Been in Love” and “Love Is an Overstatement”—you probably have a good idea of what you’re in for with Mirror. The UK-born, Canada-raised singer-songwriter’s modern pop ballads have a knack for tugging pretty violently on the heartstrings. Throughout the front half of the LP, Smith tempers every happy memory with an equally dark one—and burrows deep into those negative emotions, whether they’re the result of a romance taking a turn for the worse (“Fingers Crossed,” “Fantasy,” “Narcissist,” “Aftermath”) or the love lost between two BFFs (“Best Friend Breakup”). But there is a lightness that emerges in tracks such as “Hey” and “ily,” where the hope for better things to come lifts the vibe and sets the table for “That Part,” the album’s centerpiece. “I had written so many sad songs,” Smith tells Apple Music’s Zane Lowe about the track. “I was doing so mentally unwell that I was like, ‘If I write one more sad song, it’s gonna push me over the edge.' I was like, ‘What is the only thing that I’m holding on to right now that brings me happiness? It’s my boyfriend.’” Lyrically, she lets her imagination follow her heart, picturing picket fences and Ikea beds for the kids. “Know we're too young to get married, we knew from the start,” she sings. “I'm sick of waiting, so can we just skip to that part?”

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