Hard to know whether you stick or twist with a sound
London-born singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas first entered the musical spotlight after an earthquake of a debut singing Age on Jools Holland’s BBC TV show nearly four years ago.
Lianne’s eagerly awaited 2012 debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? made even bigger shockwaves with those searching for a singer with that little bit extra.
Before listening to Lianne’s second album Blood, this reviewer acquainted himself with her material and when the opening lines of Don’t Wake Me Up left the singer’s mouth, the sound of Lauren Hill (The Fugees) came to mind.
Songs like Don’t Wake Me Up, Lost and Found, Gone and the Alanis Morrisette-type effort Forget turned Lianne into a UK musical sensation alongside Emeli Sande, Lana Del Rey, St Vincent and Janelle Monae.
Blood explores the vast expanse of Lianne’s vocal range and musical imagination, most in evidence on the tracks Green and Gold, What You Don’t Do, Grow and Ghost.
Blood throws up a question - what kind of singer does Lianne La Havas want to be?
But Blood also throws up a question - what kind of singer does Lianne La Havas want to be?
A smoky jazzroom diva with Midnight and the subtle, Nina Simone-esque Good Goodbye or the angry Lara Croft-type revolutionary heard on Unstoppable and Never Get Enough?
For instance, Unstoppable could become tennis player Serena Williams’ anthem if she wins the US Open next month to complete a Grand Slam of major titles in a calendar year.
However, there is an element of truth in what one reviewer said of the album “Blood never quite boils”.
Lianne La Havas can be whatever singer she wants to be - but there has to be a trade-off.
Review by Winston Brown