Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough

July 13, 2012

Lianne La Havas has navigated a well worn route—internet hype, intimate London gigs, a breakthrough performance on Later that set the critics a-gushing, summer festival shows, and now, here we are at the debut album. The market isn’t particularly desperate for another singer/ songwriter in what could charitably be described as an overstuffed field, so how does this record stand up against the hordes of similar prospects? The answer is; pretty well. Lianne has a few vital things on her side—a distinctive guitar picking style, and a rich voice come as givens, but to these she brings witty lyricism, genuine charisma, and an ability to push and pummel the acoustic template into intriguing new forms.

There’s plenty on the record to appeal to the middle of the road fanbase that her label doubtless hope to capture; yearning love songs and heartbreak ballads born to soundtrack a hundred tear jerking TV romances- Gone goes for big-lunged, hair-rending emotional fall out, and Elusive has the polished DNA of a daytime radio hit.

But these singer/songwriter staples come salted with more unique tracks- the bratty shouts of Forget, La Havas channelling the spirit that made Kelis such a star; the subtly avant garde nods to house music in Au Cinema; and the pop soul of the album’s title track, a strutting, exuberant number jaunty with cheeky guitar licks and Motown claps.

Is Your Love Big Enough is a strong, multi faceted debut that showcases La Havas’ talent in fine style—a glimpse of what promises to be a bright new talent.

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