Lianne La Havas – Blood (2015)

Lianne La Havas - Blood (2015)
Artist: Lianne La Havas
Album: Blood
Genre: Soul, Folk, Indie
Label: Warner Music
Released: 2015
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)
Tracklist:
Unstoppable [5:30]
Green & Gold [4:38]
What You Don’t Do [3:41]
Tokyo [4:29]
Wonderful [4:16]
Midnight [3:30]
Grow [3:39]
Ghost [3:44]
Never Get Enough [3:22]
Good Goodbye [3:49]

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The English songwriter Lianne La Havas may be young, but her voice marries youthful lightness with a gravitas most often ascribed to artists well beyond her 25 years. Blood, her second album, builds on the immutable grace of Is Your Love Big Enough?, her 2012 debut. Whereas Is Your Love Big Enough? looks outward for validation, Blood is dynamic and poignantly self-assured in its introspection.

Blood’s first single, “Unstoppable” is a breezy summer jam that pairs lighthearted bass and groove with a whimsical video to match. In it, La Havas twirls through an empty house singing of the unique invincibility that comes post-healing: “Our polarity shifted around/ There was nothing else left holding us down/ But it’s just gravitational/ We are unstoppable!” Warm and affirming, the track eases listeners into a complex, layered album with La Havas’ earthy notes complementing meditations on love.

La Havas, whose soulful tunes place her most often in conversation with artists like Alice Smith, Laura Mvula, and Corinne Bailey Rae, handles her six-string acoustic with elegance and precision. Where she is less graceful, and at times even awkward, is the integration of more electric sounds. “Never Get Enough” alternates between her trademark lullaby and brash chords to almost jarring effect. The tonal shift matches the urgency of the cat-and-mouse lyrical arc, but the abrupt jumps add discordant conflict to an otherwise harmonious track sequencing. The song feels erratic, ill-suited to the pleasant lilt of La Havas’ smooth voice. “Grow” alternates between acoustics and strong percussion, but its melodic shifts build gradually, matched by La Havas’ rising vocals.
by Hannah Giorgis

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