Friday, 13 July 2012

Review: Lianne La Havas - Is Your Love Big Enough?

It’s been a while since I was first exposed to Lianne’s talents (almost a year infact). In that time my admiration for her music has grown as has my anticipation the more I heard from Lianne. Her Live In LA EP was included in Best In New Music’s EP’s of The Year 2011 and she was even included in the ‘Best New Artists to watch out for in 2012’ post we did for MUZU. So it was great to finally get my hands on Lianne La Havas’ debut album Is Your Love Big Enough?


The album’s first track “Don’t Wake Me Up” isn’t a bad song, but it’s a slightly slower pace than one would expect to be greeted with on a first listen to the album. Lianne made a strange choice for the album’s title track “Is Your Love Big Enough?” - the song is fairly average and not nearly as good as what Lianne’s capable of.


After a slow start, it’s natural to begin to question whether Lianne will infact begin to deliver on this album. Enter track three - a beautiful song with a chorus that it’s hard to not be moved by - "Lost &Found" is the album’s stand out track. The following song “Au Cinema” maintains the quality of the previous one and it’s probably the most upbeat song on the album. If I was choosing the singles on the album, this would be the next one that Lianne releases.


“No Room For Doubt” was the first song that I heard of Lianne’s way back in late 2011. On that song alone, it was hard to see within which genre Lianne fitted. A simple, stripped back song on which Lianne is joined by the album’s only featured guest Willy Mason.  “No Room For Doubt” has hints of all of Lianne’s musical styles – Soul, Indie and Folk music and it blends them wonderfully.


“Forget” is another of the tracks that were featured on Lianne’s Live In LA EP and like the others a full bodied version is featured on the album. Thankfully this is one of tracks that sound better than the acoustic version that Lianne first released on the EP.


The album ends on a terrific high with “They Could BeWrong”, it’s one of Is Your Love Big Enoughs best songs. By this point it is clear that this album is something special.

On “Age” Lianne asks whether age is important within a relationship, comparing a younger lover to an older one old enough to be Lianne’s father.

“So is it such a problem that he’s old?
As long as he does whatever he’s told
I’m glad that it’s just my heart that he stole
And left my dignity alone”

While Lianne addresses the issue in an entertaining and well written manner, having a partner the same age as your Dad probably isn’t something I would advise. Lianne La Havas is at her best on “Elusive”, if you haven’t heard much of her music then this is one of the song’s I’d advise that you check out.


HIGHS

LOWS

I hate filler material, I hate albums that are too long and albums that only have one or two songs aren’t worth bothering with. Lianne La Havas’ debut album Is Your Love BigEnough? isn’t any of those. When the time comes to draw up the list of the best albums of 2012, this will be there. Yes there are songs like "Gone" and the title track which will never be considered as the best songs that Lianne has written. But it would be harsh to say that they were bad and even if you do skip them, you’re still left with 10 good tracks. 

To view a guide to Best In New Music's Album review rating system click here.

Rating:
Avoid | Stream | Recommend

 Lianne La Havas’ Is Your Love Big Enough? is available to buy now on iTunes UKIs Your Love Big Enough? is also available to stream on Spotify now.