Fault Magazine Album Review- Lianne La Havas


Is Your Love Big Enough?

Watching Lianne La Havas on Later with Jools Holland last October I recall instantly comparing her to Corinne Bailey Rae, who had also grown to fame following her own performance on the show. However standing alone and vulnerable in the spotlight singing about her lost love and new found companionship  found in the arms of an older man I couldn’t help but question the authenticity of her song writing. Being only one year her younger I always have an issue when I hear such young vocalists singing about the turmoil of their love lives and the multiple abusive partners they have had to endure whilst I sit at home comfortable in my single marital status.

Sceptical I decided to give the album a chance, Adele has done pretty well for herself singing the blues at 21 so why should the journey be any different for Lianne?

Opening track ‘Don’t wake me up’ tells of the passion she feels for her lover. With lyrics such as “I’d take my life, to stay in your bed” she invites us to experience her highs and throughout the proceeding track we free fall with her to experience her crushing lows.

All scepticism of her authenticity vanished by the track, ‘Lost & Found’. The rich production infused with the vulnerability in her voice creates such a feeling of sorrow that it more than tugs at your heartstrings but shatters them. Never over singing a note or pushing the song into yelling rant territory her words flow without violent cracks or over baring belts ending the song as smoothly as it begun.

What I loved most about the album is that the comparisons I drew back in October are gone, only ever stopping to note down her Nina Simone like rawness. I know I am listening to Lianne La Havas, no one else.  Even as she covers Scott Mathews’ song ‘Elusive’ she leaves her own signature style on the track and it is executed brilliantly.


After a full listen of the Album I felt like I had somehow come to understand Lianne. The youthful spirit of tracks ‘Gone’ and ‘Forget’ reminded me of her young age and I found myself feeling saddened by her experiences. While I was at first dismissive of the idea that such a young performer could have truly suffered the way she did, I found myself feeling distressed by the fact that this young performer HAD indeed gone through such experiences at such an early point in her life.

Never the less the Album did what any good album should. It showed me who she was as an artist, young, soulful, daring and gifted. Most importantly it showed me who she was as a person, she has allowed us to hear her story to feel her pain and stare voyeuristically into her inner being. The foundations of a great career have been laid I just hope she has the strength to keep building.

For information on Lianne La Havas’ gig dates, videos and more head over to http://www.liannelahavas.com/

Words: Miles Holder