What a year for Lianne La Havas. Signed to Warner Bros, she bounced onto the scene with her Lost and Found EP, released last year, which led to her being shortlisted in the BBC Sound of 2012 poll in January. By February she had released another EP, Forget. She climbed her way up the music ladder getting evermore confident and soulful and finally announced news of an album being released in July. And she doesn’t disappoint. Is Your Love Big Enough? is inundated with sensuous harmonies that brim over with raw passion. Her voice is sensational and she sings with ease, making this album a joy to listen to.
Her album opens with ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’. Somewhat reminiscent of James Blake, this track is primarily a combination of subtle a cappella layering of La Havas’ voice, and soaring lyrics such as “you’re hiding in the corners of my mind / never fear I’ll be close behind”. This is possibly one of my favourite tracks on the album, as it showcases her voice so beautifully. Title track ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ will soon become a favourite among La Havas’ fans as its upbeat and jovial nature is catchy while simultaneously revolving around a metaphorical questioning of her dead relationship. Yet, for me, the highlight of the album is ‘Gone’. La Havas sings about heartbreak so sincerely and passionately it makes it difficult to ignore lyrics such as “So what happened to you / thought I knew you / no more chances / I’m gone, gone, gone”. Having taken a leaf out of Adele’s book, her willingness in this track to admit her previous naivety is admirable, and a prime example of the raw emotion she doesn’t fear to convey.
Luckily for La Havas, however, the beauty of some tracks make up for the dullness of others. While the majority fill the room with exquisite harmonies and memorable tunes, others never seem to come off the ground. ‘Tease Me’ doesn’t seem to progress or reach a climax and I think it’s fair to say that it’s hard to differentiate some tracks from others due to a sense of repetition and lack of originality.
Yet, La Havas is growing on the music scene, and growing strong, and overall this album is a feel-good celebration of a successful attempt to conquer her heartbreak.