- 17 Jul 20
Soul star returns with tender third album.
The self-titled album is an honour usually reserved for debuts – introducing the artist to the world with a statement of intent, often decades in the making. Although Lianne La Havas is the critically adored South Londoner’s third album, the same principle applies. Consider this a reintroduction – a raw and vibrant expression of self after five years away.
The follow-up to 2015’s Blood finds her revelling in a newfound sense of confidence, introduced by the shatteringly soulful opener ‘Bittersweet’. The album artwork – a black-and-white, candid shot of a joyful La Havas throwing her hair over her eyes – is a perfect visual representation of the new direction she’s exploring, by embracing a stripped-back, timeless sound and a remarkable vulnerability, from which she derives her strength.
Her voice has never sounded as powerful – continuing to draw influence from the classic soul tradition, while simultaneously connecting to the new movement of Jorja Smith and H.E.R.. As a result, La Havas is not always breaking innovative new ground musically, but rather crafting an overarching energy that is entirely her own, and binds the album together as a vivid portrait of the artist at this critical point in her adulthood.
For such a definingly personal project, one of the surprising highlights is a cover of Radiohead’s ‘Weird Fishes’, which takes the intimate core of the original in a stunning new direction.
A beautiful, timely balm for trying times.