Lianne La Havas is a singer I absolutely love. With that disclaimer out of the way, please don’t expect this write up to be highly objective. When I first listened to the British singer’s work, I was immediately touched by her voice, her lyrics, and the music. The combination of those three elements works like magic, as was exemplified in her debut album, the excellent Is Your Love Big Enough?. After seeing the lovely lady on stage a few years ago, I was further convinced of my musical infatuation. In case you missed it, read my review of Lianne La Havas’ concert at Espace Julien in Marseille. Now, with all that said, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a slight concern before listening to her brand-new album, Blood. Because you see, Lianne has come a long way in the past few years, signed with a major label, and became somewhat of a “big name”, with a growing fan base. All this has the potential to change a young artist for the worst. However, as soon as I listened to the first singles before the release of her second full-length album, and watched the mesmerising videos for Unstoppable and What You Don’t Do, I was reassured that the Lianne La Havas I grew to love was still here, with a twist. More mature, more confident, more sensual, she was a sight to behold. A little while passed between the moment I saw the videos and the day the album was released. On that day, July 31st, I bought Blood. It took me about two weeks to finally listen to it though. Hey, life happens… I guess I needed to be in the perfect mood and frame of mind to fully appreciate it. Since the first 3 tracks of the album were those she already made available (the aforementioned tracks, plus Green & Gold), the listening experience was like going from well-trodden paths to unknown territory. As soon as the first notes of Tokyo were played, and Lianne’s delicate voice started singing, I already had a smile on my face. Sounding familiar and somewhat similar to songs from Is Your Love Big Enough?, it was different, as mentioned earlier. Something more. While Unstoppable and What You Don’t Do have that positive, playful energy, and look at love and relationships from an optimistic place, Tokyo is the first song of the album that exudes melancholy and loneliness. Full disclosure: I have a weakness for sad songs. This means tracks like this one made me love the album. Next on my list of favourite songs, which actually happens to be the following track on the album, is the incredible Wonderful. I don’t think I even have the words to express how much I adore this song. Delicate, sad, precious, it just reaches deep inside of me and stirs memories and emotions I may have been keeping tucked in there for a long while. Before I get overly sentimental, let me move on to the lighter Midnight, which gives us a glimpse of a more mischievous young lady. Daring and confident, the singer invites us to live with her at the witching hour, an offer that sounds very tempting to me. I read somewhere Lianne saying that Blood was her most personal project to date, which is obvious with the tracks Green & Gold, Ghost, and Grow, dealing with her childhood, presumably past relationships, and what her generation is going through. Closing the project in the most beautiful way possible, Good Goodbye is highly emotional too, especially as I lost my uncle last year and have been thinking about my late grandmother a lot lately. Let’s not forget the “good” in “goodbye” though, as indeed, “no one ever leaves you“.
Now that you know a little bit more about Lianne La Havas’ second album, Blood, discover the videos for the first two singles, and of course go get your copy! The album is available on digital, CD, and vinyl via her store.