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Lianne La Havas|Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas

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Lianne La Havas' previous LP, Blood, almost topped the album chart in the U.K. and was up for a Grammy in the U.S. The singer/songwriter was dissatisfied -- not with its reception but with compromises that left her feeling that it wasn't a pure expression of herself. To name two of them, she had no hand in writing one of the songs, and it was chosen as the second single. Almost five years to the day Blood was released, La Havas offered this corrective move made with her inner circle -- her band and longtime creative partner Matt Hales -- and a few relative newcomers of her choosing, such as co-producer Beni Giles. Although it was written over the course of a few years, the set covers the trajectory of one relationship and was recorded in concentrated fashion, and it consequently plays out like a complete statement made by a self-contained crew. What's more, La Havas' lithe voice forms a tighter bond with the lyrics, and her gently ringing guitar rarely leaves her hands. The sequencing is nonlinear. It starts around the end, with La Havas waving goodbye and singing of rebirth, and abruptly flashes back to the peak with the rapturous and finely woven "Green Papaya." Down the line, there are moments of persuasion, trepidation, and hard-fought self-realization, from a prime Hi Records-style ballad ("Paper Thin"), to a nuanced hip-hop soul collaboration with Nick Hakim ("Please Don't Make Me Cry"), to a wholly illuminated finale ("Sour Flower"). La Havas makes it all flow and mesh by revisiting each moment like it's the present, using apt metaphors related to plant life and seasonal cycles, and most importantly, by not overselling a single emotion. She and her support don't really work up a sweat. When they almost break one, as on the intimate rustic disco of "Read My Mind" and the vibrating soul-MPB fusion of "Seven Times," they do so with a fluency that recalls Maxwell's BLACKsummers'night and blackSUMMERS'night, like they rehearsed to perfection and cut mostly live. Another highlight of relative intensity is an update of Radiohead's "Weird Fishes." While it might seem contradictory of La Havas to record a cover and place it in the middle of an album self-titled to stress total control, the song has long been in her set list. She seizes it with a more dynamic arrangement and a robust rhythmic overhaul that evokes OK Computer more than In Rainbows. The increasing sense of relief and joy in her voice as she repeats "Hit the bottom and escape" sounds as personal as anything she wrote.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas

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1
Bittersweet
00:04:52

Elroy Powell, Vocals - Matt Hales, Composer, Producer - Isaac Hayes, Composer - Hal Ritson, Drums, Keyboards, Additional Production, Programmer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Beni Giles, Producer - Richard Adlam, Drums, Keyboards, Additional Production, Programmer - Rudy Love, Composer - Lianne La Havas, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - James Wyatt, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Yves Fernandez, Bass Guitar - Dan Grech, Mixer, Additional Programming - Dan See, Drums, Percussion - Robert Wilks, Engineer - Mariama Frida Touray, Backing Vocals - Di Fosco T. Ervin Jr., Composer

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

2
Read My Mind
00:04:48

Matt Hales, Composer, Producer, Vocal Recording Engineer - RENAUD LETANG, Mixer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Beni Giles, Producer - Lianne La Havas, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Chris Tabron, Keyboards - Jonny Breakwell, AssistantEngineer - James Wyatt, Piano, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Moog - Daniel Moyler, Engineer - Yves Fernandez, Bass Guitar - Bruno Major, Composer, Guitar, Piano - Dan See, Drums, Percussion - Sam Crowe, Keyboards - Robert Wilks, Engineer

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

3
Green Papaya
00:04:05

Matt Hales, Composer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Beni Giles, Mixer, Additional Production, Additional Vocal Recording Engineer - Lianne La Havas, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Sam Crowe, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Moog, Grand Piano - Robert Wilks, Additional Vocal Recording Engineer - Frida Touray, Composer, Backing Vocals

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

4
Can't Fight
00:03:10

Matt Hales, Composer, Producer - RENAUD LETANG, Mixer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Davide Rossi, String Arranger, Cello, Viola, Violin - Beni Giles, Producer - Lianne La Havas, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Jonny Breakwell, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Moyler, Engineer - Yves Fernandez, Bass Guitar - Mura Masa, Composer, Producer - Dan See, Drums, Percussion

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

5
Paper Thin
00:04:58

Matt Hales, Composer, Mixer, Vocal Production - Homer Steinweiss, Producer, Drums, Engineer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Lianne La Havas, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Joe Harrison, Producer, Engineer, Bass Guitar

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

6
Out Of Your Mind (Interlude)
00:01:04

Geo, Producer - Matt Hales, Mixer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Lianne La Havas, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Geordan Reid-Campbell, Composer, Drums, Engineer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

7
Weird Fishes
00:05:54

Jonathan Greenwood, Composer - Rhianna Kenny, Original Arranger - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Jay Sikora, Original Arranger - Beni Giles, Producer - Colin Charles Greenwood, Composer - Edward John O'Brien, Composer - Philip James Selway, Composer - Thomas Edward Yorke, Composer - Lianne La Havas, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals, MainArtist, Original Arranger - Jonny Breakwell, Additional Vocal Recording Engineer - James Wyatt, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Claps, Vocoder, Original Arranger, VocalArranger - Daniel Moyler, Additional Vocal Recording Engineer - Yves Fernandez, Bass, Claps - Dan Grech, Mixer, Additional Programming - Dan See, Drums, Percussion - Robert Wilks, Engineer - Frida Touray, Backing Vocals, Claps - Christopher Dagger, Original Arranger

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

8
Please Don't Make Me Cry
00:05:14

Matt Hales, Composer, Vocal Production - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Beni Giles, Additional Production, Drums Recording Engineer - Lianne La Havas, Composer, Producer, Snare Drums, Guitar, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Chris Tabron, Mixer - Nick Hakim, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals, Drum Programmer, Recorded by, Mini Moog, Mellotron, Wurlitzer - Dan See, Additional Drums - Robert Wilks, Drums Recording Engineer - Brandon Peralta, Assistant Mix Engineer

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

9
Seven Times
00:03:30

Matt Hales, Composer, Producer, Bass Guitar, Drum Programmer, Fender Rhodes Keyboards - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Beni Giles, Producer, Mixer - Lianne La Havas, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Gareth Lockrane, Flute - Jonny Breakwell, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Moyler, Engineer - Yves Fernandez, Bass Guitar - Dan See, Drums, Percussion

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

10
Courage
00:03:38

Matt Hales, Composer, Mixer, Vocal Production, VocalEngineer - Bill Malina, Engineer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Lianne La Havas, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Lead Vocals, Vocal Production, MainArtist - Joe Harrison, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards - Paul Castelluzzo, Composer, Whistle - Tim McNalley, Cello, Viola - Timothy McNalley, Composer

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

11
Sour Flower
00:06:47

Matt Hales, Composer, Vocal Production, VocalEngineer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Lianne La Havas, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Chris Tabron, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - Mark Guiliana, Drums, Percussion - Nate Odden, Engineer - Sam Crowe, Composer, Keyboards, Piano - Brandon Peralta, Assistant Recording Engineer, Assistant Mixer - Burniss Travis, Double Bass - Augusto Sanchez, Assistant Recording Engineer

© 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited. ℗ 2020 Warner Records UK, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

Album Description

Lianne La Havas' previous LP, Blood, almost topped the album chart in the U.K. and was up for a Grammy in the U.S. The singer/songwriter was dissatisfied -- not with its reception but with compromises that left her feeling that it wasn't a pure expression of herself. To name two of them, she had no hand in writing one of the songs, and it was chosen as the second single. Almost five years to the day Blood was released, La Havas offered this corrective move made with her inner circle -- her band and longtime creative partner Matt Hales -- and a few relative newcomers of her choosing, such as co-producer Beni Giles. Although it was written over the course of a few years, the set covers the trajectory of one relationship and was recorded in concentrated fashion, and it consequently plays out like a complete statement made by a self-contained crew. What's more, La Havas' lithe voice forms a tighter bond with the lyrics, and her gently ringing guitar rarely leaves her hands. The sequencing is nonlinear. It starts around the end, with La Havas waving goodbye and singing of rebirth, and abruptly flashes back to the peak with the rapturous and finely woven "Green Papaya." Down the line, there are moments of persuasion, trepidation, and hard-fought self-realization, from a prime Hi Records-style ballad ("Paper Thin"), to a nuanced hip-hop soul collaboration with Nick Hakim ("Please Don't Make Me Cry"), to a wholly illuminated finale ("Sour Flower"). La Havas makes it all flow and mesh by revisiting each moment like it's the present, using apt metaphors related to plant life and seasonal cycles, and most importantly, by not overselling a single emotion. She and her support don't really work up a sweat. When they almost break one, as on the intimate rustic disco of "Read My Mind" and the vibrating soul-MPB fusion of "Seven Times," they do so with a fluency that recalls Maxwell's BLACKsummers'night and blackSUMMERS'night, like they rehearsed to perfection and cut mostly live. Another highlight of relative intensity is an update of Radiohead's "Weird Fishes." While it might seem contradictory of La Havas to record a cover and place it in the middle of an album self-titled to stress total control, the song has long been in her set list. She seizes it with a more dynamic arrangement and a robust rhythmic overhaul that evokes OK Computer more than In Rainbows. The increasing sense of relief and joy in her voice as she repeats "Hit the bottom and escape" sounds as personal as anything she wrote.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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