Lianne La Havas - 'Lianne La Havas'

8/10

After first building her reputation for solid and soulful croons on her initial releases 'Is Your Love Big Enough?' in 2012 and the 2015 follow-up 'Blood', Lianne La Havas was riding a wave of praise and acclaim that cemented her as one of this country's most prized neo-soul performers. But rather than continue to move with the buzz and momentum behind her at the time, she decided to take a step back from the limelight and work on a collection of music that best represents her as an individual. So after a five-year hiatus, she finally returns with her third studio album, one that looks to breathe really life into her catalogue.

Inspired by the life cycle of nature and its ability to thrive, disappear, and then come back even stronger, 'Lianne La Havas' looks to reflect this dynamic in every part of its production and composition. While her older records were certainly a strong and instantly rejoiced introduction to her sound, this new collection sees her explore a whole new range of aesthetics and emotions that give this full-length a far more diverse feeling throughout. Stripping back much of the fanfare to focus solely on her voice, she has made a comeback that feels far more self-reflective than we initially thought.

While she has usually been one to toe the line between passionate and engaging work, while also pumping out the odd radio-friendly pop tune from time to time, 'Lianne La Havas' sees her embrace for more of the former, creating a record that flows with elegant beauty rather than worry about its mainstream appeal. This makes for a truly wondrous return and possibly her best material to date.

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