Last year, Laura Mvula released her outstanding debut album - a collection of orchestral pop songs that introduced the British artist as an alternative to the retro-soul singers and dance divas du jour.
This year, the classically leaning material was re-recorded with Netherlands jazz-pop symphony Metropole Orkest, conducted by Jules Buckley, at Abbey Road Studios no less.
The result is ethereal, whimsical and cinematic, and yet the orchestra slows the whole thing down sometimes. After a while, the lush strings and sense of grandeur become a little dull. (Enough with the fluttering harps already.) There's a missed opportunity for edgy experimentation.
Luckily, the source material is very strong. Mvula's vocals are captivating, whether they're weary on Can't Live With The World or confident and soaring on Flying Without You (one of the few tracks that clips along, thanks to perky percussion). Album closer That's Alright finishes the project off with a triumphant swagger you wish had been there all along.
Overall, not wildly different, but a chance to expose the music to those who still haven't caught on.
Top track: Flying Without You