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Soul - Released July 9, 2012 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 9, 2012 | Nonesuch

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Soul - Released December 18, 2020 | Warner Records

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Five months after the release of her magnificent and self-titled third album, Lianne La Havas offers a live interlude, made under quarantine conditions, of course, and broadcast via livestream over social networks. A former protégée of Prince, the English singer, born to a Jamaican mother and a Greek father, keeps things fairly brief on this EP, Live at The Roundhouse. Five tracks, including four excerpts from the record released during the summer of 2020. Alone, her voice stretches out languidly over a cosy acoustic guitar mat. The album Lianne La Havas, revealed a heart which was almost more folk than soul, and carried by a simple six-string line, lightly wreathed in sunlight. In this more refined live context, she is blasting in all directions! Every word, every syllable, every inflection, every flight, the sensation is hypnotic, close to that created by Joni Mitchell's records of the early 70s. No vocal line has ever been as stunning as that on Bittersweet. As for this version of Courage, it plays hide-and-seek with a bossa nova sound. In the end, a five-track release that stamps the personality of Lianne La Havas that bit more strongly, and corrects those who made her out to be just another little sister to Sade, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott or Erykah Badu ... © Marc Zisman / Qobuz
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Soul - Released July 17, 2020 | Warner Records

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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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Alternative & Indie - Released September 4, 2015 | Nonesuch

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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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Soul - Released February 25, 2020 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 12, 2016 | Warner Records

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Soul - Released June 24, 2020 | Warner Records

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Soul - Released May 4, 2020 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 14, 2015 | Warner Records

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Soul - Released May 18, 2020 | Warner Records

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Soul - Released February 25, 2020 | Warner Records

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Soul - Released March 3, 2020 | Warner Records

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Soul - Released August 14, 2020 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 5, 2015 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 4, 2015 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 12, 2016 | Nonesuch

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Electronic - Released May 17, 2020 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 1, 2012 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 23, 2015 | Warner Records

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Lianne La Havas in the magazine