Lucy Rose proves to be an experimental and self-assured artist, capable of an inventive streak.
Before the release of her sophomore record, Lucy Rose promised audiences that the new album would “sort a few things out” about her identity and sound. With singles ‘Cover Up’, ‘Like an Arrow’ and ‘Our Eyes’, Rose began in the right direction with a much bolder and inventive aesthetic. But throughout Work It Out there’s the odd slip into her old classic female singer-songwriter style. Nevertheless, the record boasts beautiful vocals, experimental electronic layers and a much more confident sound.
Album opener ‘For You’ serves as a clever bridge between old and new: Like I Used To and Work It Out. Running along the same thematic lines as her debut LP, ‘For You’ gives fans the reassurance that Rose hasn’t swayed from her romantic and contemplative themes and velvety vocals. She gradually progresses into a louder, yet quietly confident sound, teasing her new musical territory.
Her personal radio favourite ‘Our Eyes’ shared online back in April follows, and is by far the most pop-sounding track on the album, taking Rose out of her comfort zone and into a more upbeat and experimental sound with its punchy instrumental and twitchingly electronic intro. ‘Cover Up’, which appears slightly later on in the record, boasts a similar confidence and charisma but with slightly darker undertones. The first track to be unveiled after debut Like I Used To, ‘Cover Up’ was the initial taste of Rose’s new identity, giving following releases much to live up to.
Between the two very experimental and bold tracks lies ‘My Life’, a track written when the album was finished and during a “turmoil of songwriting” as Rose explains that there was a frantic moment during the Work It Out process where the record needed one final song that just wasn’t there. This is where the mellow and contemplative song ‘My Life’ fits in. A lot more personal and emotional towards the beginning with a lovely layer of strings, the song soon moves into Rose’s newly found sound with percussion, drums, and a heavier texture complimented by haunting and expressive vocals from her good friend, and also sister-in-law, Rae Morris.
Deluxe edition tracks ‘Sheffield’ and ‘Like That’ incorporate more of Lucy Rose’s musical influences, namely the style and sound of Bombay Bicycle Club. With large beats, bigger drums, and even the subtle BBC-esque cowbell tick in ‘Like That’, the tracks have a rockier, self-assured, and invigorating sound complimentary of Jack Steadman and co.’s latest self-produced album So Long, See You Tomorrow of which both Lucy Rose and Rae Morris provided vocals for.
Title track ‘Work It Out’ is also a standout with it’s electronic flourishes and subtle hip-hop beat reminiscent of Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’, as well as the somewhat exotic and textured Jack Steadman inspired layers.
In Work It Out, Rose has reestablished her musical sound to be more daring, experimental and self-assured as portrayed by a number of the album’s tracks. They weave between her older, more safe and reserved Like I Used To artistic self, proving that Rose is capable of a little inventive streak amongst her original sound.
Work It Out is out now via Columbia Records.