Monday, July 9, 2012

ALBUM REVIEW: Is Your Love Big Enough? - Lianne La Havas

22 year old South Londoner Lianne La Havas has today unveiled her debut album 'Is Your Love Big Enough?'. As debut albums go, this is pretty fantastic.

Appearing late last year on Later... with Jools Holland, La Havas stepped out for the first time to the wider public. Brandishing her guitar and showcasing her delightful vocals, I was sold immediately. Her folk inspired soul music is a breath of fresh air in a stagnant market of euro-dance pop. 

From the opening notes of the album opener 'Don't Wake Me Up' you hear La Havas unique take on a formerly over done genre. Focusing, for the most part, on love and relationships La Havas is treading dangerously familiar ground but steers well clear of any inevitable comparisons to her contemporaries by forging her own lyrical style and the arrangements and minimal production perfectly complement her honest lyrics. You won't find any ostentatious bells and whistles here. Subtlety is key.

As the album progresses, we get diary-like insight into her past relationships showcased perfectly by the painfully beautiful 'Lost & Found' where La Havas talks about being broken down in her relationship. 'Au Cinéma' sees the songstress tackle love balladry from another angle by writing from an outsiders perspective while 'Forget' contrasts with her softer tones as she roars over the tribal inspired beat while retaining her jazz edge. Her folk influences are explored most successfully in the Willy Mason assisted 'No Room For Doubt'.

What's most exciting about La Havas' debut is how versatile she is. Flitting effortlessly between genres, 'Is Your Love Big Enough?' would suggest that Lianne has a lot more to give in the future with this debut serving as a tantalising teaser as to what is to come.