Blood by Lianne La Havas

As the British summer descends into gentle murmurings of overcast clouds, Lianne La Havas invites us to the idyllic and energetic shores of her Greek/ Jamaican heritage, serenading us all the while with passionate songs about love, loss and life. Within the space of fifty minutes, we are immersed and invited into the musician’s own intimate island, sharing it with her in a moment of magic.

There is an inescapably groovy edge to Blood, as waves of uplifting vibes – present in ‘Green & Gold’ – retreat into the heart breaking recesses of the album’s conclusion. Lianne’s ventures into her newfound territory of rockabilly pop are balanced perfectly with the stripped back blues, reminiscent of her musical roots. Singing with a ballerina-like finesse, Lianne’s voice dances, gracefully, throughout the album’s duration, whilst the magnificent use of double tracked harmonies gives the impression of a whole gospel choir singing through one, unique voice.

Impressively, Lianne’s song writing matches her vocal ability with ease. Intricate blues chords and inventive melodies combine to form a myriad of dangerously catchy toe-tappers, colliding exquisitely with the funky bass riffs of songs designed to lift you into a state of musical euphoria.

However, despite the perfection of Lianne’s vocals, certain areas of Blood divert from the album’s silky smooth texture. The distortion in ‘Never Get Enough’ and clunky transitions in ‘Grow’ take away from the raw talent Lianne possesses, overshadowing the subtle changes that make this album such a beautiful evolution from Is Your Love Big Enough.

Nevertheless, whilst Blood indicates Lianne should not stray too far from the blossoming path she paved at the start of her career, the extensive production value and omnipresence of bass provides her with the rhythmic driving force necessary to carry her musical gift to new heights.

Robert Cairns

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