On Champion, her second full-length in just two years, plaintive pop singer/songwriter Bishop Briggs delivers a powerful breakup album that finds strength in pain. Her dynamic vocals are once again at the center of the effort, bursting with passion, angst, and sadness in equal measure. She's sure not to wallow for too long, and her righteous anger blasts through the tears on tracks like the motivating "Can You Hear Me Now" and the rapturously booming "Lonely." On the empowering title track, Briggs teams with co-writers K.Flay and Joel Little, delivering a rousing anthem for a thousand broken hearts. While Champion is more raw than her 2018 debut, Church of Scars, the hip-hop heartbeat and raspy vocals make this a distinctly Briggs affair. Some of her early gospel-tinged spirit is resurrected on tracks such as "Tattooed on My Heart," a mid-tempo, choir-and-organ singalong that addresses mistakes in love and lessons learned while evoking kindred spirit Kesha. The choir swells again on album highlight "Jekyll & Hide," a pulsing dark-pop gem that rides spook-show sonics on another collaborative affair with Flay and Little. While Champion mostly processes the post-breakup pain with energetic beats and defiant lyrics, Briggs also retreats to the simplicity of just a piano or an acoustic guitar, allowing her despair to bleed through the unpolished, single-take vocals of the heartbreaking "Someone Else" and bittersweet closer "I Tried." Favoring authenticity and catharsis, Champion is simple and straightforward, forgoing fancy concepts and cluttered production in favor of a classic set of emotive, broken-hearted breakup anthems.
AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung