Lianne La Havas: Is Your Love Big Enough?

Lianne La Havas
Is Your Love Big Enough?
(Warner Bros.)

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When Lianne La Havas released the EP Live From LA, it showcased a profoundly stark piece of work, as it was a stripped-down album of highly personal songs that consisted mostly of Lianne La Havas and her guitar. The beauty of it lived within her potent songwriting and impressive style of guitar playing that alternates between complex strum patterns and chords. Songs addressed the intimacies of heartbreak in tumultuous relationships, reflective indifference, spoken and unspoken questions, anger, lust and still a steely strength. From the audience’s response to Lost & Found it is easy to surmise Lianne La Havas had won over the LA crowd that night as they were no doubt helplessly struck by her seductive grasp of bluesy R&B indie tunes.

This 22-year-old who was born in London, England continues more of the same on her new album, Is Your Love Big Enough? On “Lost & Found” the soft, slow tempo accents a painful memory while her voice remains unscathed by the emotional tragedy. The title track is cheerful and upbeat, decorated by stomping percussion and piano. In another genre, her vocal styling would be called classical, yet currently is easily hip and sleekly vintage as she takes her time unveiling its beauty as it stretches across lines and lyrics. The arty combination of moving drum rhythms and an indie rock run of guitar, “They Could Be Wrong,” is sweetly wicked, reserved and gorgeous as it feels like a cinematic moment and visually like an open road to a new beginning.

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