Album Review: Lianne La Havas // Lianne La Havas

After a long radio silence, much loved British soul artist Lianne La Havas is finally back with her introspective, self-titled, third album Lianne La Havas.

2020 has been an unexpected year, to say the least. But despite the protests, pandemic, and everything in between, we can celebrate because Lianne La Havas is finally back in our lives with new music. Her self-titled, third album showcases her beautiful voice in a time when we really need it.

It was an unintentional five-year musical hiatus, as she had planned for the album to be ready in 2017. But life interfered, and to get to a place where she was content with the music took a bit longer. The album was written after the ending of her previous relationship, and the whole build-up and break down of this relationship forms the central theme of the album. But at a whole, it is an album inspired by nature’s life-cycle, and how it “blooms, thrives, goes away, and comes back even stronger. A flower has to dry up and die in order to be reborn. You have to get to the rock bottom to rebuild yourself.”

She bounced back onto the scene earlier this year with her first single, and opening song on the album, ‘Bittersweet’, and the hype for the album has been mounting ever since. The groove is immediately found in the soulful opening chords of the track, while the lyrics tell of La Havas reflecting, resetting herself and moving on after the end of a relationship. Across the next tracks ‘Read My Mind’ and ‘Green Papaya’, she sings of the strong feelings in the honeymoon phase of a new relationship, “My partner in crime / Hoping you’ll love me ’till we die”. The laid back guitar riffs of ‘Can’t Fight’ make it the perfect accompaniment to lazy, golden Summer evenings.

Through the minimalistic guitar of ‘Paper Thin’, the album starts to shift towards the more difficult stages in a relationship, “Love yourself / Or else you can’t love no one else / I know your pain is real / But you won’t let it heal.” She includes her soulful take on Radiohead’s ‘Weird Fishes’, and over ‘Please Don’t Make Me Cry’, ‘Seven Times’, and ‘Courage’ she portrays the eventual downfall of the relationship, all the while her voice glides with effortless runs. To close off the album, ‘Sour Flower’ shows the completion of the cycle and La Havas having found closure after the relationship, and peace with being with herself, “As hard as it may be / I’m done settling for so much less than I knew I deserved.”

Lianne La Havas is an album that doesn’t shy away from the realities of love and life. It celebrates the highs, exposes the lows, and ends with a sense of having found contentment with solitude. It is so nice to be able to listen to new music from her after such a long time, and hopefully, before long, we can experience these songs live.


Lianne La Havas’ self-titled third album is released this Friday, July 17th and is available to pre-order now.

Author avatar
Sophia Hughes

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