Album: Lianne La Havas, Is Your Love Big Enough? (Warner)
Sunday 08 July 2012
Never believe anything anyone tells you in January. The month of second-guessing and self-fulfilling prophecies, it's the period when the music industry and media send out suspiciously samey lists of Bright New Hopes for the year ahead, almost always as cautious as they are tedious. But just occasionally, like a broken clock, they get it right.
Among the also-rans in the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll – topped by the dishwater-dull Michael Kiwanuka – was Lianne La Havas, a 23-year-old singer from Streatham with a smoky voice and a neat line in jazz-soul.
Is Your Love Big Enough? – a title Spinal Tap would reject for being too innuendo-heavy – is a tasty piece of nu-soul whose musical inventiveness is, if not quite at Janelle Monáe levels, then at least up there alongside Beyoncé's kid sister, Solange Knowles.
La Havas's style, which recalls Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Dory Previn and Joni Mitchell (you can see why Prince, an admirer of Joni and Janelle, is a Lianne fan), is intimate and confessional. Sometimes uncomfortably so.
Not a perfect debut, but one that leaves you with the feeling that we're dealing with a living, thinking artist here, not just another Brit School waxwork.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 2 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 3 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils