Album review: Laura Mvula, Sing to the Moon (RCA)


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The Independent Culture

While Laura Mvula deserves credit for blending her Caribbean heritage with her classical training, Sing to the Moon is far from the masterpiece some claim.

In places, it's a disastrously over-egged pudding, with Mvula's show-offy multitracked vocal harmonies and stop-start song structures crippling tracks such as “Like the Morning Dew” and “Make Me Lovely”. Favouring harp, celeste and strings with horn colouration, her arrangements are interesting rather than enjoyable: “Is There Anybody Out There?” nods to both Nina Simone and Brian Wilson, but lacks either's compelling character.

The best things here are the plaintive “Father, Father”, and “Can't Live with the World”, which profits from an intriguing Oriental cast to the arrangement.

Download: Can't Live with the World; Father, Father