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Lianne La Havas|Blood

Blood

Lianne La Havas

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After she completed extensive touring in support of Is Your Love Big Enough?, Lianne La Havas visited Jamaica with her native Jamaican mother and connected with distant relatives. Additionally inspired by her Greek roots through her father -- hence the album's title -- and possibly fortified by her experiences recording with Prince, Alt-J, and Tourist, Blood is no mere rehash of the Top Five U.K. debut that preceded it. Matt Hales, aka Aqualung, remains on board as a production and co-writing partner, but he contributes to fewer songs. Among the collaborators here are Stephen McGregor (son of Freddie McGregor), retro-soul specialist Jamie Lidell, Disclosure's Howard Lawrence, and pop heavy weights Mark Batson and Paul Epworth. La Havas goes for a bigger, bolder, more produced sound without glossing over her singer/songwriter/guitarist origin. The point is made in the opener, a storybook love song about being swept away that is carried on a rhythm firmer than anything heard on the debut. On "Tokyo," La Havas' yearning and state of disorientation is intensified by hazy effects and an appealingly chunky and slow groove that wouldn't be out of place on Jessie Ware's Devotion. "Midnight" and "Ghost" likewise wouldn't have the same resonance if merely sung and strummed, while "Never Get Enough" enters discretely but repeatedly veers into a dissonant stomp of lust and vexation. A few moments, like the wistful "Wonderful" and candid closer, are as hushed and restrained as the first album's highlights. The most vivid autobiographical song is "Green & Gold," a standout Lidell collaboration referencing La Havas' growth into an adult who is proud and understanding of her background and identity. This work leaves the debut, impressive as it was, in the dust. ~ Andy Kellman

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Blood

Lianne La Havas

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1
Unstoppable
00:05:30

Leo Taylor, Drums - Nikolaj Torp Larsen, Piano, Vibraphone, Mini Moog - Ian Burdge, Cello - Everton Nelson, Violin - Ian Humphries, Violin - Mike Kearsey, Trombone - Mark 'Spike' Stent, MixingEngineer - Julia Singleton, Violin - Claire Orsler, Viola - Sally Herbert, Strings - Paul Epworth, Producer, Bells, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer, Mellotron - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Mark Brown, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone - Calina de la Mare, Violin - Ben Edwards, Flugelhorn, Trumpet - Clare Finnimore, Viola - Matt Wiggins, Engineer - Max Baillie, Viola - Colin Smith, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone - Dave Okumu, Guitar, Bass Guitar - Lianne La Havas, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Oli Langford, Violin - Alison Dods, Violin - Tom Herbert, Guitar - Geoff Swan, Assistant Mix Engineer - Frances Dewar, Violin - Chris Worsley, Cello - Joe Hartwell-Jones, AssistantEngineer

© 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Green & Gold
00:04:38

Matt Hales, Keyboards, Additional Production, Writer, RecordingEngineer - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Tom Elmhirst, MixingEngineer - Jamie Lidell, Writer, CoProducer - Lianne La Havas, Guitar, Programmer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Tabron, RecordingEngineer - Joe Visciano, Assistant Mix Engineer - Caleb Laven, Engineer - Marion Ross III, Trumpet

© 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

3
What You Don't Do
00:03:41

Ben Castle, Saxophone - Matt Hales, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Chris Storr, Trumpet - Sylvester Stewart, Writer - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Tom Elmhirst, MixingEngineer - Al Shux, Additional Production, Programmer - Dave Bianco, Engineer - Lianne La Havas, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Sam Dew, Writer - Joe Visciano, Assistant Mix Engineer - "Lucky" Paul Taylor, Drums

© 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

4
Tokyo
00:04:29

Matt Hales, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Chris Dagger, Bass Guitar - Tom Elmhirst, MixingEngineer - Dave Bianco, Engineer - Lianne La Havas, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Joe Visciano, Assistant Mix Engineer - "Lucky" Paul Taylor, Drums, Percussion

© 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Wonderful
00:04:16

Matt Hales, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Backing Vocals, Writer - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Chris Dagger, Bass Guitar - Ben Baptie, MixingEngineer - Lianne La Havas, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Strings - Howard Lawrence, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Writer - Be Hussey, String Recording Engineer - Drew Bang, Assistant Mix Engineer - Keenan O'Meara, Backing Vocals

© 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Midnight
00:03:30

Shea Taylor, Writer - Stephen McGregor, Writer - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Rupert Christie, Engineer - Tom Elmhirst, MixingEngineer - Tom Walsh, Trumpet - Rob Harvey, Trombone - Lianne La Havas, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Stephen "Di Genius" Mcgregor, Producer, Engineer, Bass Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Drum Programmer, Sound Effects (SFX) - Sam Dew, Writer - Joe Visciano, Assistant Mix Engineer

© 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Grow
00:03:39

Mark Batson, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Writer, Drum Programmer - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Chris Dagger, Double Bass - Aaron Fessel, Engineer - Ben Baptie, MixingEngineer - Trevor Lawrence Jr., Additional Drums - Lianne La Havas, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Drew Bang, Assistant Mix Engineer

© 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

8
Ghost
00:03:44

Matt Hales, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer, MixingEngineer - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Lianne La Havas, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist

© 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

9
Never Get Enough
00:03:22

Mark Batson, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Writer, Drum Programmer - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Tom Elmhirst, MixingEngineer - Aaron Fessel, Engineer - Dan Cox, AdditionalEngineer - Trevor Lawrence Jr., Additional Drums - Lianne La Havas, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Joe Visciano, Assistant Mix Engineer

© 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Good Goodbye
00:03:49

Matt Hales, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer, MixingEngineer - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Lianne La Havas, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Strings - Be Hussey, String Recording Engineer

© 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2015 Warner Music UK Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

Album review

After she completed extensive touring in support of Is Your Love Big Enough?, Lianne La Havas visited Jamaica with her native Jamaican mother and connected with distant relatives. Additionally inspired by her Greek roots through her father -- hence the album's title -- and possibly fortified by her experiences recording with Prince, Alt-J, and Tourist, Blood is no mere rehash of the Top Five U.K. debut that preceded it. Matt Hales, aka Aqualung, remains on board as a production and co-writing partner, but he contributes to fewer songs. Among the collaborators here are Stephen McGregor (son of Freddie McGregor), retro-soul specialist Jamie Lidell, Disclosure's Howard Lawrence, and pop heavy weights Mark Batson and Paul Epworth. La Havas goes for a bigger, bolder, more produced sound without glossing over her singer/songwriter/guitarist origin. The point is made in the opener, a storybook love song about being swept away that is carried on a rhythm firmer than anything heard on the debut. On "Tokyo," La Havas' yearning and state of disorientation is intensified by hazy effects and an appealingly chunky and slow groove that wouldn't be out of place on Jessie Ware's Devotion. "Midnight" and "Ghost" likewise wouldn't have the same resonance if merely sung and strummed, while "Never Get Enough" enters discretely but repeatedly veers into a dissonant stomp of lust and vexation. A few moments, like the wistful "Wonderful" and candid closer, are as hushed and restrained as the first album's highlights. The most vivid autobiographical song is "Green & Gold," a standout Lidell collaboration referencing La Havas' growth into an adult who is proud and understanding of her background and identity. This work leaves the debut, impressive as it was, in the dust. ~ Andy Kellman

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