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Issue 1084

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LAURYN HILL: LIVE @ HAMMERSMITH APOLLO: LONDON, 08.07.07

LAURYN HILL: LIVE @ HAMMERSMITH APOLLO: LONDON 08.07.07
LAURYN HILL: LIVE @ HAMMERSMITH APOLLO: LONDON 08.07.07

Understandably, there was little hype surrounding Ms Hill’s second major visit to London Town following her appalling and self indulgent Coliseum outing in 2005, which pretty much heralded the beginning of the end for the once shining star.

Still, you could say one of the major pros of this show was that she wasn’t ridiculously late, and didn’t deliver reams of propoganda-filled poetry the world would be better off without.

That's the pros. It’s just a shame her spaced-out appearance and terrible vocals tonight didn’t help to sway things more in her favour. In fact, at times you almost wished she would just call it a day as we couldn’t hear a single word she was singing thanks to the poor sound and an overbearing band. Songs such as 'Lost Ones' were just messy, while 'Fu-Gee-La' really could have used the assistance of Wyclef and Pras. Then, all the Marley tracks on offer – 'Iron Lion Zion', 'Zimbabwe', 'The Heathen' – were delivered way too aggressively to even be taken seriously. The only time Lauryn had anything going for her was when she was at her most vulnerable; so even though she missed a few notes during a particularly poignant performance of 'Ex-Factor', her passion and emotion made all the difference.

It only took a couple of more Fugees hits later, and a final offering of 'Doo Wop' to show Lauryn Hill might have been an icon in her heyday, but in 07, she’s way too close to falling off for good. Let’s just keep hope alive and pray for a return to something near her old self. A disappointment? Yup. Pros and cons? Yup, alas the cons far outweighed the pros tonight.
Words Matilda Egere-Cooper

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