Is Your Love Big Enough?
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Debut album from the young soul chanteuse with the big voice and celebrity following. Is Your Love Big Enough? arrives off of the back of two critically acclaimed EPs and promises more of the same.
After her breakthrough performance on Later... with Jools Holland in October 2011, the career of London-born folk/soul crooner Lianne La Havas has bounced from one adventure to the next.
Two well-received EPs, a BBC Sound of 2012 nomination and a high-profile support slot on Bon Iver's North American tour, all before her debut album has come out. Now it’s arrived in the shape of Is Your Love Big Enough?, a strong and skilfully delivered set that consolidates the strengths of her spindly guitar and rich vocals, but also exposes weaknesses along the way.
It’s always been clear that La Havas has a special voice, and so it proves here. Her vocals are soulful, edged with lounge-bar smoke, but each note is sung with force and precision. On pensive Willy Mason duet No Room for Doubt, her resigned words barely escape her lips. Elsewhere, her layered vocals on They Could Be Wrong shimmer like Jill Scott’s, or Erykah Badu’s in her softer moments.
It’s a voice that invites you in, and only the hardest heart will resist the offer. La Havas’ guitar work, meanwhile, is often superb. Her fingers pluck clean lines that shift from playfully atonal on the title track, through the très chic Parisian vibes of Au Cinema, to the palm-muted tension of angry break-up anthem Forget.
While the album demonstrates La Havas’ skill in crafting hand-weaved interplay between voice and guitar, it also shows that she’s less of a natural fit for big, emotional ballads. Piano-led confessionals like Lost and Found or Gone aren’t bad songs, but they lead her into the arena of pop titans. They’re not powerful enough to beat someone like Adele at her own game, and it feels like she sacrifices a lot of her distinctive intimacy in reaching for these giant moments.
Despite these weaker moments of Is Your Love Big Enough?, it’s La Havas’ gorgeous voice and gifted string fingers that’ll make the biggest impressions. This might not be a home run straight out of the gate, but it’s an extremely promising first swing of the bat.
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Top Customer Reviews
track 'Don't Wake Me Up' we immediately find ourselves in the presence
of a very significant new talent. With 'Is Your Love Big Enough?'
Lianne La Havas has delivered an extraordinarily rich debut album.
What a truly beautiful voice she has! Distinctive, confident and full
of subtly articulated emotion. At every turn it is an instrument which
finds new colour and timbre, the better to articulate her finely-wrought
lyrics and melodies. With her performance of a glorious song like 'Lost
and Found' it is hard not to feel that she has the full support of heaven
and all its angels! It is one of the loveliest things I have heard this year.
The quality doesn't dip for a moment. Whether in the jazzy inflections of
'Au Cinema'; the raucous, angular guitar stabbings of 'Forget' or the
sublimely breathy cadences of 'Elusive' (another cracking composition!)
we are treated to the dazzlingly understated evidence of Ms La Havas' craft.
It's almost impossible to pick a winner but if I were forced to choose one
for my desert island it would have to be 'Gone' where head and heart and
voice come together in a deeply moving display of unaffectedly raw soul.
No doubt about it. Ms La Havas is the real deal. Don't let her pass you by.
"Don't Wake Me Up" starts off with gorgeous A-Capella singing and then slowly builds into a solid Soul influenced mid-tempo track. The first highlight "Is Your Love Big Enough?" is very catchy and is a mixture of Blues and Folk with an infectious chorus. "Lost & Found" is a very suave Soul ballad with sweet vocals and melody. "Au Cinema" and "No Room For Doubt" are both atmospheric Folk inspired ballads with a strong acoustic feel to them. Similar in style to the title track, "Forget" is heavily influenced by Blues and Rock and has a very catchy chorus which makes it the second highlight. "Age" is a cute acoustic guitar led track with some fun lyrics and a vibrant melody. "Elusive", a very beautiful and sensual ballad with lovely vocals from Lianne and a soothing melody, is the third highlight whilst the fourth is "Everything Everything", another well interpreted suave ballad with lovely arrangements. But the most satisfying song on this release is the piano led Soul ballad "Gone" which is sung with such passion and pain it becomes an emotional heart wrenching masterpiece. "Tease Me" is a well crafted Blues and Folk inspired song and the final song "They Could Be Wrong" adds an element of Funk to this release.
"Is Your Love Big Enough?" is a fantastic debut album by a very talented singer-songwriter who possesses a very emotive voice and the ability to put pen to paper and write some inspiring lyrics.Read more ›
I love vocalists, and you will love this girl with her gorgeous smokey voice, warmth, spark, presence and absolute musicality!
She is a genuine contender to be one of the our greatest.
An absolute diamond album!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've got a new hero. Beginning to end, the quality is superb! song-writing is exquisite and interesting and I just love this so much.Published 17 days ago by Danilo Domingos
This is a great album - I play it a lot in the car - love her voice.Published 2 months ago by Marge Wright
A great singer, song writer and guitarist.
Each song certainly has a message behind it.
Ms La Havas has a powerful voice and is able to deliver each note... Read more