The husky soothing sounds presented in the highly-anticipated debut album Is Your Love Big Enough?, from folk and soul singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas, succeed in creating a narrative that tells a story of an almost tragic love, which we can all relate to in one way or another. The all too familiar issue of love which we seem to get bombarded with from every direction is greatly overshadowed by raw emotion and talent offered by Lianne.
Instantly, we are drawn into comforting harmonies with Don’t Wake Me Up and introduced to the unique and almost untainted voice of Lianne La Havas; it’s hard not to get drawn into a world of silky smooth jazz, worthy of any commendable soul musician. Just when it all seems a bit conventional, Is Your Love Big Enough? offers an upbeat alternative with a chorus that is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. Aside from illustrating the diversity and flexibility of Lianne as an artist, the title track alongside Forget rules her out as yet another singer-songwriter armed with a guitar and a basket full of love songs. She is able to create music that doesn’t sacrifice depth and emotion for an upbeat tempo; we have the pleasure of getting the best of both worlds.
Heartwarming tales still take their rightful place in the album, lyrics like ‘When I felt strong enough I was discovered by the love…’ found in Lost & Found offers a simplicity that can be traced through the entire record; this only leads to a degree of profundity that would be very difficult to fake or recreate. Taken from her Lost & Found EP released last year, No Room For Doubt featuring Willy Mason stands out as the clear cut favourite. There’s something about the first, second, third, fourth… play of this song that makes it seem so rare and almost divine; every once in a while you hear a duet that sounds like its been put together by musical magic and this is definitely one of them, the two voices melt so perfectly to create a giant pot of folky goodness.
There isn’t a sense that Lianne La Havas has shown all she has to offer. Is Your Love Big Enough? teases us with glimpses of utter brilliance and she’s one to watch in the coming weeks, months and years as she’s now part of a new generation of artists willing to take folk and soul music to new levels.