Most helpful positive review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2013
There is very little that could prepare you for a artist as extraordinary as
Laura Mvula. Where on earth has she been hiding? Those in the know : friends,
collaborators and early aficionados are privileged to be ahead of those of us
for whom the release of her debut album 'Sing To The Moon' this week finds us
rushing to catch up with this quite remarkable event in the listening world.
This wonderful singer/writer/performer has arrived fully-formed with a sound
and style so innovative that its freshness and energy takes one's breath away.
Ms Mvula's voice is a ravishing instrument : poised, clear, rich and emotionally
pure from top to bottom through its considerable range. Her facility with melody
and (in particular) harmonic structure delivers surprises at every twist and
turn in the twelve compositions which make up this blissfully unpredictable set.
The arrangements are delivered with impeccable finesse by her crack instrumental
ensemble. Strings, brass, harp, piano, percussion and the voices of at least a
dozen other angels combine to create sonorities the likes of which we might
find in music as diverse as the maverick orchestral works of Charles Ives, the
literate chamber jazz of Mike and Kate Westbrook and even (perhaps most strangely
in terms of my own associations) David Crosby - especially his 1971 album
'If I Could Only Remember My Name' (listen especially to 'Orleans' and 'I'd
Swear There Was Somebody Here' to catch my drift). It's an utterly dazzling
display of talent; seamlessly articulated and endlessly intriguing.
From the joyous incandescent harmonies of opening track 'Like The Morning Dew';
via the raucous rhythmic byways of 'Green Garden' (do, do watch the video if you
haven't seen it already and smile until your face aches!); the painful but
tenderly articulated personal reflections of 'Father, Father' and the utterly
bewitching 'She', Ms Mvula's vision is never less than totally focused and sincere.
The song 'Sing To The Moon', however, deserves a cloud in heaven all to itself!
This is the stuff that true musical dreams are made of. A sublime first showing!