I’ve been waiting for Lianne La Havas’ second from the moment she walked off the stage after her April 2013 performance at The Sinclair. Two years later my wish has been granted. Her sophomore album, Blood, is out today and it’s everything a music lover could hope for. It’s clear that her vacation to Jamaica turned journey of self-discovery did wonders for her creative process. Her transformation and maturity is audible from album opener “Unstoppable” to the last track, “Good Goodbye.”
With just 10 tracks Blood is a genre bending album that stays true to La Havas’ guitar dominant signature sound. It includes somber heartbreaking ballads like “Wonderful” which will make you feel the opposite way, if you can relate. Then there are upbeat songs, “What You Don’t Do” and “Midnight” that are unapologetically happy and perfect for a two step. “Grow” and “Never Get Enough” include gentle guitar plucking on the verses and transform just in time for the chorus. In the case of “Never Get Enough” the distorted vocals, pounding bass and snare morphs from a standard love song as La Havas declares, “Now I’ll never get a enough of you!”
This album is the exact reason why La Havas doesn’t like her music being categorized as Folk and Soul. As she said in her interview on Buzzfeed’s Another Round podcast, “I would describe my music as melodic.” She went on to explain, “I don’t think just because I play the guitar makes it folk. Or just because of the way I sing or the fact that I’m brown makes it soul.”
It’s pretty clear with Blood that she’s experimenting with her sound, but there’s still a commonality in her guitar playing and singing. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you categorize her music, Lianne La Havas is a great songwriter and even better vocalist, and you don’t want to miss when she tours the U.S. this Fall.