Lianne La Havas, Lianne’s third album and her first in five years, is an album of startling beauty and insight - made entirely on her own terms, which has been quite a journey. In one sense, geographically: La Havas spent a lot of time moving back and forth between the UK and the States working on writing and exploring her own identity. As a result, Lianne La Havas feels spacious and luminous. Its sunbaked sounds recall, in places, the Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist Milton Nascimento (on Seven Times). You might also hear the curveball chords of Joni Mitchell and Jaco Pastorious’s jazz explorations (Green Papaya), or the puttering drums and inviting warmth of golden-era Al Green (Read My Mind). And throughout the record, there’s a sense of empowerment that has its roots in the crisp ‘90s R&B of Destiny’s Child. The confidence that La Havas has cultivated, both personally and creatively, is audible in the fact that Lianne La Havas is a record that feels utterly real - a living, breathing thing. It hasn’t been polished to a squeak in favor of a “clean” recording; La Havas followed her gut on this album, going with what feels good. Beauty never really goes by the book, and Lianne La Havas is a breathtaking example of this. Lianne La Havas - an exquisite, rich, and tender expression of love, loss, and rebirth that marks a new era for the British artist.
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