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Guest Review: Bowden On La Havas

Eyewear's Music Critic Lydia Bowden On Lianne La Havas

I can’t have an ice-cream without thinking about Lianne La Havas. Why? Because I swear she sings that instead of ‘I scream’ in her debut single ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’- and of course it isn’t ice-cream- but La Havas’ voice sounds so much like flowing caramel, if there was such a thing, so I guess that connotation with ice-cream is fair enough on my part.

Seriously though, this girl’s voice is deliciously smooth. Not only that, but even the music sounds just as sweet. Insisting on playing her own highly strapped guitar, La Havas gives off this dreamlike effect through her music with random scales on guitar and experimental notes with her husky voice.

 A Londoner- part Greek, part Jamaican- and yet another artist having emerged from Later…with Jools Holland, La Havas is something like Corinne Bailey Rae, but it’s something much more refreshing , something a little more honest and stylish from this young 22 year old.

It’s this husky voice that gets people going. Who doesn’t like a strong female vocalist who discards singing about clubbing and partying, but instead, sings soulfully and from their broken heart? Adele does it and now does La Havas.

The thing I admire most about La Havas is her quirky humour. In ‘Age’ she talks about her relationship with an older man, asking herself ‘Why do I love him?’ and ultimately that, ‘I like younger men’. What’s great is that you’d expect some kind of thoughtful piano solo, but La Havas keeps it simple and almost happy with two note pick of her electric guitar; turning the song into a cheerful anecdote of a bad relationship. And this is what makes you really love her- she’s laughing at her sad times- and making bloody good music at the same time.

However there has to be one or two songs that strip everything back to where the talent lies and this one is called ‘Lost and Found’ and is one of my favourites on the album. Just a piano, one or two short strums of the guitar and the voice. Even with its slow beat, this is a catchy one and you’ll find yourself humming the tune for the rest of the day. ‘No Room for Doubt’ features American folk singer Willy Mason, who’s voice blends wonderfully with La Havas’ into a continual hypnotic chant of the line ‘We all make mistakes, we do’.

Some songs get away though, and fall into the group that’ll never be played again- until you find them in a few years time of course. However, something tells me this album will keep popping up and there will be no escaping the dulcet tones of La Havas, so grab her album and get to know her before you miss out on all the fuss.  
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