Lianne la Havas’ newest record, Blood, spilled out at Midnight. It’s the highly-anticipated follow-up to her 2012 debut offering ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ and La Havas had promised fans a somewhat more mature, neo-soul compilation of tracks inspired by her Greek/Jamaican lineage. Did she leave us feeling cold?
She has, on occasion, been compared to Sade and Alicia Keys, but this sophomore album reiterates the beautiful fact that La Havas cannot be put into a box; she is incomparable in her range of influences.
Once again the most attention-grabbing element of her music is the vocal – a perfect blend of rasp, quivering vibrato, the ability to sooth us with lullaby-like whispers, and then blast out a true belting chorus – an amazing range, but we’d love to see more belting numbers.
The stand out track, by a mile, is Midnight. A truly funky number that combined foot-tapping drum-beats, a perfect guitar riff, a little bit of sax, and her powerful range. We love it!
Coming a close second there’s the story of leaving a lover “Alone” in Tokyo. This track exemplifies her ability to write a melancholic song without it sounding too heartbreaking, in a somewhat carefree, nonchalant way: “I’m out of sight, I’m out of mind / alone in Tokyo / You’re out of reach, wrong place, wrong time / alone in Tokyo.
Although la Havas penned some of the tracks in Jamaica, while visiting with her Mother, there are no obvious reggae influences, bar one forgettable motif on the equally forgettable track Green and Gold. On the heritage-tinged song, the Londoner brings us back to her six-year-old self looking in the mirror, confused about her identity.
La Havas does seem to have matured to a degree. The self-searched, soulful album is a nod to a deeper understanding of her identity, but is it more amazing that Is Your Love Big Enough? We love ’em both, giving La Havas a warm-blooded 8/10.