Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1093

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Lianne La Havas : Blood




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UK release date 31.07.2015

Lianne's songs are frequently confessional, sometimes obscure, always literate but now even more musically daring, as she incoporates dreamy ambient soundscapes as typified by her recent single,the ethereal sounding 'Unstoppable' spearheading what looks set to be (finally) her break through album.

The complexity of this song and its ever soaring arrangement (complete with a cheeky nod to The Beatles rising end on 'Day In life' ) really shines through and her vocals work especially well on this one, helping to add depth and warmth to the song, and true to form, bringing out the often beguiling lyrics. 'Green and Gold' is another belter too, with a burbling bass line that seduces you from the off as does her mellifluous outpourings and catchy hooks that pop out throughout,classic songwriting really pours out on this one and that goes for 'What We Don't Do' another pure slice of modern pop and my fave on this sassy yet dazzling sophomore album.

'Tokyo' however borders on filler material but is saved from scrapping by a soaring vocal that shows you just what a terrific range this lass has.No Willie Mason or other guests pop up either which is a shame as she duets so well ( Prince where were you? You should have asked girl! She's strong enough to stand up without the purple one but a contribution would have been nice even under an alias! Jamie Starr!)

Perhaps one of Ms La Havas strengths (apart from that voice) is her guitar style warm and arpeggiated (check 'Grow'and'Good Goodbye' especially) like an old friend popping round for cake! Her intimate moments such as 'Ghost' also exemplify this.This album is split into two halves the lush sonorous otherworldliness (that the likes of Jeff Buckley used to frequent) and the close up sparser sound that favours her too.

One of the most striking debut albums ever released, has been matched so surely with the might of Warner's and the endorsement of Prince will now firmly establish La Havas into the limelight and be recognised as a musical force? She has it all,immediacy, integrity of purpose, and crafted artistry it's a stunning effort; an album of remarkable uniformity majestically produced with crystalline clarity that sets a high benchmark for any other singer songwriter close or in her field.Let's raise a glass to the La impressive tour de force.She rocked my world at Glastonbury so let her rock yours!
Words Emrys Baird

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