x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Is Your Love Big Enough?: lyrics don't quite sparkle as instrumentation

Lianne La Havas's music may one day give Adele a run for her money.

Lianne La Havas
Is Your Love Big Enough?
Warner Bros
****

When the London-born Lianne La Havas appeared on the influential BBC music show Later… With Jools Holland last year, her fellow guest Bon Iver invited the half Greek, half Jamaican singer to support him on his next North American tour. Bon, aka Justin Vernon, no doubt noticed what La Havas's debut album makes abundantly clear: she has natural talent in spades.

At times, one is reminded of a young Lauryn Hill; La Havas's vocal agility, velvety timbre and inventive melodies are a sedate delight on standout tracks such as Au Cinéma and Elusive. She's also a decent pianist and an able guitarist with a neat line in deft, in-the-pocket chordal motifs (witness the title track, No Room for Doubt and Tease Me). Is Your Love Big Enough? boasts a warm, sensual production that's perfectly in keeping with its material.

There's no dearth of invention in its arrangements, either. La Havas's lyrics don't yet sparkle as her music does, it's true, but then she's still just 22 years old. In time, she might give Beyoncé and Adele a run for their money.